Maybe you’re celebrating the end of a year that’s been good to you, or maybe you’re saying, “Thank God it’s finally over!” Whatever the case may be, New Year’s is a time for joy and jubilation. To help you ring in the new year with style, we talked to four Santa Fe mixologists to get their thoughts on what’s hot in cocktail culture now and what they predict for the coming year. Whether your tastes run toward the classic or the new and inventive, these cocktails will make a splash at any New Year’s Eve party and have you happily toasting well into 2013.
From Christine Wiltshire of the Palace
Christine describes herself as “old school” and sees the future of cocktails as going back to the tried and true standards. “People want to reminisce of the good days gone,” she says. “The scents and tastes bring back the memories most wish they were still living.” With a nod to the Palace’s history as a casino, Christine offers the Monte Up, an (ri)1 Manhattan with a little extra special love in it.
Start with a chilled martini glass and a shaker full of ice.
Pour over the ice:
2 shakes of Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters and
1 part sweet vermouth to
3 parts (ri)1 rye whiskey
Shake vigorously and strain into glass. Serve with a cherry.
From Francisco Fabara of Agave
Francisco agrees with Christine about twists on the classics, including rye Manhattans! According to him, on the east coast, “Rye is big everywhere.” He also noted that craft beer is exploding in popularity, with bars routinely carrying dozens of beers on tap. But what he’s seen at his bar is an increased demand for skinny cocktails: low-calorie alternatives to standard cocktails. While they’ve been around for years, he points to the Bethenny Frankel Skinnygirl® line as a sign that this trend is as hot as ever. With many of us making weight-loss resolutions for the new year, why not start things off right with Francisco’s pared-down pomapolitan? It comes in at a dainty 165 calories per 2.5-ounce serving.
Add to a shaker:
3 parts Grey Goose vodka
1 part Cointreau
1 part pomegranate juice
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Shake and pour into a martini glass
. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and a lemon twist.
From Chris Sanchez and Sam Gerberding of Del Charro
Similar to Francisco’s observation about craft beers, Chris comments that he has noticed the rise of the “educated guest” who wants to “participate more in the drink process.” These enthusiasts arrive at the bar with “a clear understanding of possibilities, liquor qualities, and imagination.” It is for those educated imbibers that Francisco presents the Del Charro Pressed Martini.
Add to a shaker:
1 part vodka (brand of your choice; we recommend Grey Goose)
1 part Sprite
1 part soda water
Shake together with ice, then strain into a martini glass.
Drizzle a Chambord anchor down the inside of the glass.
Let sit for 30 seconds for separation, then serve.
Rosemary Clementine Gin and Tonic
From Missy Auge of Tanti Luce 221
Speaking of imagination, the drinks on Tanti Luce 221’s menu are bold, inventive and playful. The absolute fun Missy is having really comes through. When asked about cocktail trends, Missy agrees that it’s back to basics with an emphasis on the classics. Still, “I do my own thing,” she proclaims, and the result is a full line of house infusions including Tanti Luce 221’s Rosemary Clementine Gin. Missy says gin is fun to make cocktails with because of its interesting and complex flavor, and she’s finding that people are becoming more interested in gin. “Gin is the new black!” she exclaims. “And when you think about it, gin is the original infusion: a blank spirit that someone added juniper to.” Missy expanded on that infusion by adding citrus and herbs to create a specialty liquor that tastes great in a simple gin and tonic.Rosemary Clementine Gin:
2 whole clementines, juiced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
½ clementine, sliced
750 mL bottle of high-quality gin (Missy recommends Beefeater 24)
Pour out a little bit of gin to make room in the bottle and add infusion ingredients.
Let the liquor infuse for approximately two weeks, tasting regularly to gauge the flavor. (If you start now, it’ll be ready for New Year’s!)
To make the gin and tonic, fill a rocks glass with ice. Add 2 ounces Rosemary Clementine Gin. Fill with tonic water (Missy recommends a quality tonic such as Fever-Tree). Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.