Friday, January 02, 2009

My Hometown Gets Quality Mixology!

One of the many things I was looking forward to doing while Jason and I visited our families and friends in Santa Fe, NM was stop in at La Casa Sena. There are many reasons why I like it. It is one of those "special" restaurants I got taken to for special occasions growing up, including my 20th birthday.

It is also where Jason and I had our first date after randomly running into each other during Thanksgiving weekend 2003. I remember sitting in Casa Sena's cantina and thinking... "Wow, this could be THE one!" as we talked, over a bottle of wine, about all the things we had done since we'd last seen each other around town 12 years earlier.

So, when my BFF Kristin and her husband Mark were celebrating their wedding anniversary during Christmas week, I suggested we head to La Casa Sena for drinks in the bar, followed by dinner in the Catina where servers double as show tune singers. One of my motivations was to meet Chris Milligan, a bartender with whom I'd been corresponding on Facebook. He seemed to know a thing or two about mixology (a rarity in a tourist town like Santa Fe) and was a nice guy to boot.

Not only did we have a great time, yummy dinner and run into our old high school friend Joe Ray Sandoval - another Santa Fe native who is a poet, filmmaker and part time bartender in the City Different) but we also had some of Chris' amazing drinks! Here are the recipes and a big bravo to our new friend. Check out his new blog here.

Ruby Slipper
2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1oz Dry Vermouth
1 oz Lucien Jacob Creme De Cassis

Combine in a mixing tin with ice, Stir, then strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with Lemon Twist.

Manhattan in Autumn
2 1/2 oz Knob Creek Bourbon
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
Autumn Tincture

Combine bourbon and vermouth in a mixing tin with ice, stir. Spray inside of a cocktail glass with Autumn Tincture, then strain bourbon/vermouth into the glass. Garnish with orange peel.

Autumn Tincture: in a 5 oz jar (old spice jars are great for this), place 4 cinnamon sticks, 1 T each of clove and nutmeg, add 4 drops of pure vanilla, then fill jar with 100 proof vodka. Leave at room temperature for 2 weeks, shaking the jar twice a day. After two weeks, strain out liquid into a small spray bottle or atomizer (a mesh strainer and coffee filter work great). *This drink will also be a part of an article in Chilled Magazine in the first part of 2009. Keep you posted!

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