Santa Fe, New Mexico is magical and visually stunning city. From the adobe buildings nestled into the bottom of the Rocky Mountains. To the wide-open colorful skies. To the paintings, sculptures, and statues that adorn the walls of the nearly 300 galleries in the city. Santa Fe is a painting in and of itself. Serving as a mecca for artists, writers, and freethinkers, Santa Fe’s gorgeous views have called on creatives for decades to come and visit. Many who came for a visit, ended up calling the city home.
And why wouldn’t they? The rich history and Native American influence co-mingle with bustling art and trendy bars like a tapestry. World-renowned artist (and Santa Fe resident) Georgia O’Keefe focused on the land and surroundings in her work. O’Keefe’s paintings are dramatic representations of landscapes, flowers, and fruits – bounties of the earth. Swapping paintbrushes for bar spoons, mixology is fast becoming the “it” art medium in the Santa Fe bar scene. One Santa Fe bar, Secreto Bar and Lounge in the Hotel St. Francis, masterfully uses the same bounties as its cocktail-making muse.
Garden-to-Glass at this Santa Fe Bar
“Garden-to-glass” is the cocktail version of “farm-to-table“. Essentially, it means using what’s in season, local, organic, and readily available from the earth to create. Much like the artists painting what they see, mixologists are using what they grow to create drinks that are as tasty as they are unique. Secreto master artist, expert mixologist, and libation educator, Chris Milligan, the Santa Fe Barman, joined Secreto when it opened in 2009.
With a focus on everything fresh – fruits, vegetables, and herbs, Milligan is a pioneer of the garden-to-glass mixology philosophy. He has created a gallery of cocktails with ingredients sourced from local farms. In-house infusions ensure that their fresh cocktails are craft to the core and and representative of the Santa Fe bar culture. Cocktails like the Brûléed Cherry Old Fashioned and the Black Velvet frame the vibrant seasonal fruit available in Santa Fe.
The Smoked Sage Margarita combines Azuñia Reposado organic tequila, O3 Brazilian orange liqueur, lime juice, and smoked sage, in a hickory smoked salted rimmed glass. The Smoked Sage Margarita is a masterpiece worth recognizing. As such, it was honored as part of Santa Fe’s Margarita Trail, a unique trip around the best margaritas in town.
Vines of the Times
In addition to their gallery of garden-to-glass cocktails, Secreto is inspired by the history of wine. They are specifically moved by the history of wine in the state. Dating back to the 1620s, New Mexico is actually the oldest wine-making region in the US. Two Italian monks snuck grapes into the state and produced wine during a time when the Spaniards controlled the industry. Secreto’s wine list follows the Spanish, Italian and New World origins of the libation. Included on the menu are varietals from Spain and Italy, as well as wine from local New Mexico vintners, Gruet Winery.
Secreto prides itself on using local ingredients in cocktails and including regional wines on the wine menu. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Secreto’s beer offerings include New Mexican hops. Local standouts, La Cumbre Brewing Co., Abbey Beverage Company, and Santa Fe Brewing accent a full beer menu of domestic and imported classics.
Whether it’s modern mixology, renaissance era wines, or abstract beers, Secreto is a Santa Fe bar deserving of its own exhibition.
Pageant of the Masters in Your City
Santa Fe is a city worth painting, or at least visiting. But we understand that not everyone has a creative side. Nor can everyone jaunt away to picturesque New Mexico to view the city. Travel on over to the “Where to Buy” map on our website for bars creating Azuñia cocktail works of art near you.