What's the point of suffering through winter if we don't reward ourselves with a summer full of icy cold cocktails on the patio? Meeting friends for a margarita or a martini after a long day is especially easy here in Santa Fe, where creative mixologists love to find relief for the dry heat of a relentless sun. But sometimes the ultimate refreshment can be found away from the world, at an intimate gathering on your own patio: No driving, no parking, no DWI! To help you plan your home-based happy hour, here are five summer cocktail recipes from some of Santa Fe's favorite watering holes.
The Ore House's Granadarita
Daniela Carr, the owner of the Ore House (50 Lincoln Ave., 983-8687), just created this cocktail made with a brand-new pomegranate liqueur called Pama (about $25 at Liquor Barn, Kokoman and ***image3***Albertson's); the name Granadarita comes from granada, the Spanish word for pomegranate. Look for Eat Me Margareata Mix ($6.50 at the Santa Fe Chile Co., 500 Sandoval St., 995-9667).
½ ounce Pama pomegranate liqueur
1½ ounces 100 percent agave silver tequila
3 ounces Eat Me Margarita Mix
½ ounce Cointreau
In a cocktail shaker, combine the Pama, tequila, margarita mix, Cointreau and ice. Shake well and pour (do not strain) into in a sugar-rimmed glass.
The Catamount's Black Cherry Limeade
Manager/bartender Kathi McKenna invented this summer refresher for the Catamount (125 E. Water St., 988-7222). It's made with a black-cherry-flavored vodka from Holland (about $35, available at Liquor Barn, Albertson's, Liquid Company and Kokoman).
1¼ ounces Effen Black Cherry vodka
1 ounce sweet and sour mix
1 ounce cranberry juice
***image1***In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, sweet and sour, cranberry juice and ice. Shake well and pour (do not strain) into a tall glass. Fill the glass to the top with 7-Up and club soda, stir and serve.
The Compound's Ruby Martini
This fancy-sounding martini from The Compound (653 Canyon Road, 982-4353) is named for the ruby red grapefruit juice that gives it a pale pink color. For a truly devastating cocktail, merely rinse the glass with Triple Sec; for a less strong version, use the full amount of Triple Sec. If necessary, you can balance out too-tart grapefruit juice by adding a little simple syrup (see recipe below).
4 parts Absolut Citron vodka
2 parts Triple Sec
2 parts ruby red grapefruit juice
1 lime wedge, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, Triple Sec, grapefruit juice and ice. Shake well, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Serve garnished with a lime wedge.
El Paseo's French Lemonade
Matt Chavez of El Paseo (208 Galisteo, 992-2848) invented this smooth and sophisticated cocktail for the popular local joint. Grand Marnier, in case you're not a student of spirits, is a cognac-based liqueur flavored with bitter orange, spices and vanilla. Commonly used in margaritas, here it blends with the raspberry-flavored Chambord to give a complex citrusy, fruity flavor.
1½ ounces Grey Goose vodka
2 splashes Grand Marnier
1 splash Chambord
Juice of 1 lime
1 Maraschino cherry and 1 lemon wedge, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, ***image2***Grand Marnier, Chambord, lime juice and ice. Shake well and pour (don't strain) into a tall glass. Serve garnished with a cherry and lemon wedge.
The Staab House's 10 Cane Mojito
The Staab House (330 E. Palace Ave., 986-0000), inside La Posada Hotel, serves a luxury mojito made with 10 Cane rum from Trinidad (about $38 at Liquor Barn and Kokoman). 10 Cane is made from sugar cane juice, not the molasses that is used to make most rum.
2 ounces 10 Cane rum
8-10 mint leaves (for muddling)
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
1 ounce simple syrup (see recipe below)
1 splash of club soda
1 mint sprig (for garnish)
Put the mint leaves in the bottom of a highball glass and press them firmly with a muddler, wooden pestle or spoon, releasing the aromatic mint oils. Add a generous amount of cracked ice and pour over it the rum, lime juice and simple syrup. Stir and top with soda. Serve garnished with a sprig of mint.
Don't you hate the way you can never get the sugar to dissolve in your iced tea? By boiling sugar and water together, you can make a liquid to use for sweetening icy cold beverages. Use it for cocktails as well as iced tea, iced coffee and lemonade.
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool. Store simple syrup in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to a month.