Experience high-desert Taos refreshment at home.
It’s now possible, at least through March, to fly from Dallas Love Field in Dallas and Austin–Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas, to Taos, New Mexico, without having to go through a TSA checkpoint. And affordably, too ($139 one-way). Thanks to a little something called Taos Air, lovers of New Mexico and lovers of winter wonderlands can hop a charter flight (skis in the cargo hold) and less than two hours later get down to the business of winter adventure in northern New Mexico.
Après ski options include El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa, part of the Heritage and Resorts properties spread across Taos, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Three blocks from Taos Plaza and near the ancient Taos Pueblo, El Monte Sagrado sits at 7,000 feet above sea level surrounded by stunning mountain vistas and high desert. Inside the property, though, there are streams, tropical flora and plenty of serenity.
More exciting for us is El Monte Sagrado’s food and beverage program at the De La Tierra restaurant and Anaconda bar. The restaurant features local culinary favorites for lunch. Among them are bison enchiladas, smothered carne adovada burritos, and, naturally, green chile cheeseburgers. Dinner classes it up with options like grilled brie in a puff pastry with a Grand Marnier cherry sauce, rack of lamb shimmering with a fig-mint glaze, and lobster-green chile pot pie. The restaurant also hosts chef’s wine dinners and cooking demonstrations from executive chef Cristina Martinez. At the Anaconda Bar, you might order the Champagne shrub or the lavender margarita (recipes below), and then relax before contemplating the next day’s adventures.
Courtesy Noah Medina, The Anaconda Bar at El Monte Sagrado Resort Living Resort and Spa
1½ ounces vodka
1 ounce shrub mix (recipe follows)
2 fresh strawberries
2 basil leaves
Soda water or Champagne
1 slice strawberry, for garnish
Muddle strawberries and basil leaves in a glass and fill with ice. Set aside. Add vodka and shrub mix to a cocktail shaker. Shake until mixture is well-chilled. Strain into ice-filled glass. Top with a splash of soda water (or if desired, champagne) and garnish with a strawberry if desired.
(Note: This is a large quantity; feel free to cut it down proportionally)
1 pound strawberries, stemmed and hulled
2 cups granulated sugar
1½ cups Champagne vinegar
Dice strawberries and toss with sugar until well-coated. Let mixture macerate for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain through cheesecloth so that no strawberry pieces remain in the liquid. Add champagne vinegar and shake until well-blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Courtesy Noah Medina, The Anaconda Bar at El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa
1½ ounces Heritage Patron Reposado tequila (or your preferred reposado tequila)
¾ ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
5 squeezes lavender simple syrup*
lime wheel or wedge, for garnish (optional)
Combine first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice and garnish with lime wheel or wedge.
Lavender Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup dried culinary lavender
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let simmer for 1 minute, then remove pan from heat and allow mixture to steep for about 30 minutes. Pour liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass jar (no lavender should remain in the syrup) and refrigerate until you wish to use.
For more information about Taos Air, visit the airline’s website. For more information on El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa, visit the resort’s website. Photography: Courtesy El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa.
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