There's probably one call drink that's your go-to—the T'n'T, the Jack and Coke, the vodka and soda. Yet whether you're on vacation, hitting up happy hour after work, or showing your visiting friends the sights, adventure in the form of a new adult beverage awaits. We made these selections because of their creativity, tradition, diversity, beauty and thirst-quenching qualities.
1. Myrna Loy
We recommend this bubbly pleasing pink number in a new bar that's a welcome addition to Santa Fe's later side of nightlife. Owner Winston Greene designed the interior and the cocktail menu at Tonic, which features curated choices for all our tastes. A close runner-up for this list was the Cactus Coke, a tequila and ginger cocktail with Moroccan bitters in a copper cup. The '20s theme is prevalent in consistent intimate jazz bookings. Take a moment to address a postcard to a friend, and they'll mail it for you.
103 E Water St., 982-1189
2. La Fonda
Drop every coin in your pocket into the meter, walk through the lobby of the historic Harvey House hotel and past Things Finer to the back elevator. Take it to the fifth floor, where they're serving up margs of every stripe. The bar's chile-rimmed contribution to the city's Margarita Trail is an admirable concoction—and believe us, we tried lots of versions. We loved the balance of the Cointreau citrus bump and smooth cognac of the hotel's namesake drink. And we really love the view.
Bell Tower Bar
La Fonda on the Plaza,
100 E San Francisco St., 982-5511
3. La Reina
A brand new bar to open this year is vibing on its proximity to Midtown and the easy living of motel life. La Reina in the El Rey Motor Court has already proven a bit of a paradise in the local scene. All of its drink menu is based in tequila or mezcal, so it's also a place where plenty of people are sipping bottled mineral water, too. The queen of its cocktails includes a healthy dose of smoky mezcal, flavors of citrus and deep fruits, served with a dark red cherry in thick Mexican glassware.
El Rey Motor Court,
1862 Cerrillos Road,
4. Saison de Sarlacc
Rowley Farmhouse Ales doesn't mess around when it comes to its flagship beers. The Sarlacc, named in honor of a disgusting beast from Return of the Jedi, is actually quite tasty. Dry-hopped with a mix of three hop varietals, it has plenty of character, but doesn't have the bitter end that its name might suggest. There's always something tasty on the rotating beer list (Rowley's Earl Grey experiment was phenomenal), but if you start to get panicky when you see all those choices, the Sarlacc is a safe place to start.
Rowley Farmhouse Ales
1405 Maclovia St.,
5. Mojito Alegria
The new distillery in town has a rapidly rotating menu with its bespoke spirits. This classic is in homage to the club that formerly occupied its flagship space on Agua Fría—where ample parking, lots of seating and good music are drawing crowds. New owners have cultivated a totally different vibe, including some cool toys for kids and a killer elk bratwurst on the bar menu. Also check out the extreme Southside tasting room and the handcrafted varieties of gin kicking out of its shiny still.
Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery
Midtown: 2797 Agua Fría St.
Southside: 32 Bisbee Court
6. Blood, Sand and Smoke
The smoky flavor in this Santa Fe-made whiskey comes from real live burning mesquite chips that hit the barley during the malting process. Don't be in a hurry when you arrive, as making cocktails is also something of an aging process for these tasting rooms—and their take on the traditional blood and sand carries enough Colkegan to merit the slow drinking of it. Skip the fruit salad and order one straight with a giant rock, or skip ahead to the best-selling Wheeler's Gin.
Santa Fe Spirits
Downtown: 308 Read St., 467-8892
Southside: 7505 Mallard Way, Ste. I, 467-8892
7. Bloody Mary
If the sign of a good bloody mary is a blistering-hot, chewy mouthfeel owing to the abundance of spices and pulpy tomato juice, then the version at Harry's is blinking neon. This roadside diner has a full bar for all three meals, so you can have a screwdriver with your scrapple or a Sazerac with your steak. The secret recipe for its bloody mary has been the same for 18 years, and it's made fresh one quart at at time, with a big stock ready each Sunday morning for the post-noon crowd.
96 B Old Las Vegas Hwy.,