Cucumber-Chile Margarita. Photography: Courtesy New Mexico Cocktails and Culture

Raise a glass to Cinco de Mayo and Santa Fe cocktails.

Santa Fe Cocktail Week doesn’t kick off until June 3, but if ever there was a day to celebrate as a pre-party, it’s today, Cinco de Mayo. More of an American marketing holiday than anything else, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

But this is the United States, not Mexico. That means tequila and mezcal-based tipples and nachos. Let’s do things a little differently this year. Let’s drink fine cocktails (including a spiffed-up margarita) and preview what will surely be a smashing time at Santa Fe Cocktail Week.

And don’t forget about the city of Santa Fe’s Santa Fe Margarita Trail launching today. To accompany the new endeavor, New Mexico Cocktails and Culture will offer a Santa Fe Cocktail Week seminar, “The Historic Journey From Daisy to Margarita — The World’s Most Popular Cocktail,” on Saturday, June 4.

Cucumber-Chili Margarita

Featured at La Fiesta Lounge at La Fonda Hotel

1¼ ounce Sauza Cucumber-Chili tequila
½ ounce Ancho Reyes liqueur
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce pineapple juice
⅛ ounce agave nectar
Cucumber and lime wheels, for garnish

Muddle one cucumber wheel. Shake hard with ice. Pour into a chile salt-rimmed glass, on ice or straight up.

Photography: Courtesy New Mexico Cocktails and Culture

La Joya 

Created by Chris Milligan at Secreto Lounge at Hotel St. Francis

1½ ounce mezcal
¾ ounce green chartreuse
¾ ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
Lemon twist, for garnish

Pour ingredients into a chilled glass and stir.

Photography: Courtesy New Mexico Cocktails and Culture

Santa Fe Sunset

Featured at Jinja Bar & Bistro

1½ ounces El Tesoro Platinum Tequila
1 ounce Ancho Reyes liqueur
Dash of Cointreau
Fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
Blood orange pinwheel, for garnish

Shake tequila, liqueur, and Cointreau. Pour over into a salted margarita glass, and the squeeze the blood orange over the top with a handheld juicer, and watch as the colors start to blend like a Santa Fe sunset.


See the full Santa Fe Cocktail Week schedule.