A Guide to Tequila Blanco and An Exclusive Drink Recipe from Joe’s Tequila Bar

It’s well known that tequila is distilled from the juice of the Blue Weber Agave plant. What is less well known is that there are actually three major types of tequila: Tequila Blanco, Tequila Reposado, and Tequila Ańejo. Each type has unique characteristics that determine when and how it’s best enjoyed.

Tequila Blanco is also known as white tequila. It’s a young spirit customarily bottled immediately after the distillation process and is crystal clear. Some producers elect to “rest” Tequila Blanco in steel tanks for a month to allow the flavors to settle somewhat before the spirit is bottled – which gives it a smoother taste without diluting the tequila with other elements. Some purists insist that Tequila Blanco is the only “true” tequila.

Because of how it is produced, Tequila Blanco reveals more of the flavor of the agave plant, providing a closer drinking experience to that of the Spaniards who first distilled agave juice centuries earlier. Other tasting notes commonly associated with Tequila Blanco include grassy herbals, black pepper, and citrus.

The taste of Tequila Blanco can be too harsh for some drinkers – especially when it is consumed straight in shots. However, Tequila Blanco is ideal for cocktails because it stands up well to other spirits and liqueurs. It also pairs well with fish, shrimp, and different types of seafood for meals and small bites.

Whether you have it neat, on the rocks, or a mixed drink, we believe that Blanco tequilas make the best margaritas because they have little to no rest time in a barrel. The agave taste can really present itself through the lime. So, it is not hard to see why our first drink recipe is going to be a “Silver Coin Margarita.”

Many people hear the words “Silver Coin” and assume it’s a top-shelf drink, but once you learn that the name “Silver Coin” refers to the ingredients in this timeless cocktail, “Silver” tequila (Blanco) and “Cointreau”. While you can make this with any kind of silver tequila, our bartender will let you know that the Avion makes it better. On our menu, you will find that some of our local amigos make this cocktail their signature drink by using Casamigos Tequila.

Silver Coin Margarita
2 oz Silver or Blanco Tequila
1 oz Cointreau
¾ oz lime juice (here at Joe’s we only use freshly squeezed lime juice NO MIXES)
1 tsp of Agave syrup, if you like it on the sweeter side

Add ice and ingredients to a shaker. Shake it all up and pour into a salted rim glass. Enjoy!

Joe’s Tequila Bar at the Inn on the Alameda offers a wide variety of tequilas aimed to satisfy the most discriminating tequila drinkers – both conservative and adventurous. Tequila isn’t the only item on the menu. Beer, wine, and other spirits are also available, along with delicious Southwestern-influenced appetizers and entrees. If you’re exploring the Margarita Trail – come and enjoy a drink from us – and add a stamp from Joe’s Tequila Bar to your collection!

The History of Tequila in Santa Fe

Margaritas have always been an essential part of Santa Fe’s gastronomical scene. Tequila made its way to the United States as an import from Mexico. It debuted in Santa Fe via the Camino Real, the colonial-era stretch of 1,200 miles between Santa Fe and Mexico City.

According to legend, tequila has its origins in the tale of the Aztec God, Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatl was so overcome with grief over the death of Mayahuel (the Aztec goddess of fertility) that he drank pulque, fermented agave juice, from the plant that grew from her grave to drown his sorrows. Pulque was a popular pre-colonial drink. When the Spaniards arrived, they brought the process of distillation with them. They distilled pulque to create tequila.

The margarita has its own colorful origin stories. Fast forward 400 years, when a Mexican restaurant owner supposedly created the margarita in the 1940s for a showgirl named Marjorie King, who was allergic to every form of alcohol except tequila – but hated the taste.

A different Tijuana bartender is said to have invented the drink in the 1930s for Rita Hayworth, who entertained audiences as a teenager at the Agua Caliente Racetrack. Yet another version claims that Dallas socialite Margaret Sames invented the drink in 1948, with the recipe picked up by hotel baron Tommy Hilton and featured at his hotels.

An entirely different version claims that margarita evolved from “The Daisy” – a concoction of multiple types of alcohol, citrus juice, grenadine, and a splash of soda, all poured over shaved ice. Not coincidentally, margarita is Spanish for daisy.

What is not in dispute is that a traditional margarita follows a simple 3-2-1 formula: 3 parts tequila, 2 parts triple sec (orange liqueur), and 1 part fresh lime juice. Salted rims of the margarita glass are optional.

Tourism Santa Fe launched the Margarita Trail on Cinco de Mayo in 2016, in partnership with local restaurants and bars offering various versions of the margarita. TrailParticipants can enjoy a wide variety of margaritas and earn stamps for sampling margaritas at each stop.

The next time you enjoy a margarita, make a toast to New Mexico and Santa Fe. Better yet, put a stop at Joe’s Tequila Bar at the Inn on the Alameda on your agenda as part of any visit to the Land of Enchantment. Joe’s features an extensive selection of wine, beer, and spirits, including tequilas for both traditional and adventurous palates. Enjoy a drink with us.

The Three Basic Types of Tequila

The history of tequila dates back to the Aztec people, who created a precursor to the drink called Pulque from the Agave plant. When the Spaniards arrived, they distilled Pulque to create a drink they found more palatable.

From those simple origins, the production of tequila has grown. Tequila must adhere to three strict rules to legally be called tequila. First, tequila is only distilled In five Mexican states (Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Nayarit, or Tamaulipas). Second, tequila must be made with Blue Weber Agave, also known as Agave Tequilana, and contain no less than 51% agave (spirits with up to 49 percent distillation from other sugars are called Mixto). Finally, to be certified, tequila must be approved by the Tequila Regulatory Council in Mexico. Tequila that has earned certification will have a small rectangle with the letters “CRT” on the label.

There are actually not one but three major types of tequila: Tequila Blanco, Tequila Reposado, and Tequila Ańejo, and each has its own unique characteristics. Tequila Blanco is bottled immediately after distillation. Tequila Reposado is aged in oak barrels for 2 to 12 months, while Tequila Añejo is aged for 1 to 3 years in oak barrels.

The first step in producing tequila is harvesting the agave plants, which reach maturity after six to eight years. The plants are cut by hand by farmers who slice the waxy leaves away from the core, which is called a piña. The piñas are cooked to break down the starches into sugars. There are four primary methods of cooking piñas:

  • Underground: The oldest cooking method involves using an underground oven, usually a pit dug in the ground. The process involves placing the piñas inside, covering them, and setting a fire on top, which produces a smoky flavor that some connoisseurs appreciate.
  • Brick Ovens: Another traditional method involves slow cooking the piñas in a brick oven for about 36 hours. This method produces richly flavored, well-rounded tequilas.
  • Autoclaves: A modern cooking method involves placing the piñas in a stainless-steel autoclave. This oven baking method uses pressure cooking and only requires nine to 11 hours while still producing high-quality tequila.
  • Diffusers: Diffusers shred the piñas before cooking and use high water pressure to convert starches to sugars, releasing the juices in as little as three hours. Diffusers also eliminate the need to crush the piñas after the cooking process. However, many purists claim diffusers produce inferior tequilas.

The first three cooking methods also require crushing the piñas to release juices after the cooking process. The piñas are typically crushed using a tahona – a large wheel made of volcanic rock that spins in a rock pit – or a roller mill that uses sharp wheels and water to tear the fibers away from the piñas to release their juices. After the piñas are crushed and their juices extracted, the resulting liquid is fermented and distilled.

Whatever your preferences for tequila, Joe’s Tequila Bar at the Inn on the Alameda features a wide variety of spirits distilled from the Agave plant, aimed to satisfy both conservative and adventurous tastes – ask about our flights. Come and enjoy a drink with us!

Date Night in Santa Fe

The City Different is the perfect place for romance, whether you’re exploring its historic architecture, dining at one of its fine restaurants, or exploring galleries. No matter what you are looking for, Santa Fe has no shortage of fun date night ideas.

Here are just a few ideas for your next Santa Fe date night:

Follow the Margarita Trail

This is a mainstay of any Santa Fe travel experience for tequila lovers. Both locals and visitors can sample drinks from 40 different establishments using the Margarita Trail Passport found at any Santa Fe Visitor Center downtown or downloaded on a  smartphone. Use the passport to receive a $1 discount on each signature margarita and to help determine your next stop.

Start your journey at Joe’s Tequila Bar is a great place to start or finish up your tour. Stop in to enjoy our tart signature margarita. You can even take a break to enjoy dinner before heading into the Plaza to continue the quest.

Fall in Love with Fine Art on Canyon Road

With over 80 studios, galleries, and museums to explore, Canyon Road offers a day chock-full of culture. Bond over unusual designs at La Mesa of Santa Fe, or examine the curios at Intrigue Gallery—both make for interesting dinner conversation later in the night. Mixed media works, characteristic of modern Santa Fe art, are also on display. Ceramics and woodblocks at Hecho a Mano stun audiences, as do the sculptures and abstract works at Kay Contemporary Art.

Note that most galleries close up shop at 5:00 pm.

Relax at Ojo Caliente

An exercise in mindfulness and quality time, bathing at Ojo Caliente’s spa, featuring water from local natural desert hot springs, is a stellar date night activity. The bathhouse has provided relaxation and healing through the sulfur-free, mineral-filled waters since 1868.

Try the Lithia Pool, and bathe in each other’s presence under the stars with this open-air bath. Or soak in any of the Upper and Lower Cliffside Pools after sunset for a romantic open-air experience. Stargaze in tandem or enjoy quiet, affectionate conversation along the resort’s edges.

Ojo Caliente is located about an hour north of Santa Fe’s downtown.

Indulge in New Mexico’s Cuisine

There’s nothing more classic than a dinner date with heavenly dishes on the menu. Lucky for couples, Santa Fe is home to a rich food scene. Classic eats like Southwestern-style steak and chile-topped enchiladas are fair game, though Santa Fe’s more contemporary fare is equally delicious.

Book a table at Geronimo, one of the best fine dining restaurants in America, located in a restored adobe home. Enjoy their Southwestern take on American-style farm-to-table cuisine.

Or book an evening at El Farol, one of New Mexico’s most famous restaurants. Enjoy their tapas-style menu, paella, cocktails, and some of the finest flamenco performances.

Turn date night into an overnight experience. Book a room at the Inn on the Alameda We offer deluxe rooms and suites perfect for evenings. Our king and queen-sized beds embody comfort, while the interior design and accents pay homage to the inn’s Southwestern heritage.

Celebrate Spring in Santa Fe

When winter chills give way to friendlier weather, Springtime is a beautiful time to visit Santa Fe. From March through June, Santa Fe temperatures warm up from an average high of 41 degrees in March to highs in the 60s by May and into the 70s in June. You may want to pack a jacket for chilly mornings or cool nights, but with 325 sunny days a year, you’ll find that our mild spring weather makes it an excellent time to explore Santa Fe and its surroundings. Here is just a sampling of things you can do on your visit.

Take a stroll or go on a hike

One of the best ways to see Santa Fe is on foot, as you explore the streets and architecture of the city or head outside of town for more hiking adventures. Santa Fe has an extensive network of wilderness paths and paved urban trails to enjoy as you explore the city. For archaeology and nature buffs, Bandelier National Monument, located about a 50-minute drive from Santa Fe,  can’t be missed. Examine ancient petroglyphs and imagine life 11,000 years ago as you explore the well-preserved ruins and hike along the trails in the park.

Visit Santa Fe’s Extraordinary Museums

The City Different is known for its museums and galleries, featuring various artists and styles. There are so many different museums that you are sure to find one that meets your desires. But here are a few suggestions. Suppose you want to learn more about Native Southwest populations through storytelling, research, and stewardship. In that case, The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology is the perfect place to begin your explorations of the culture, stories, and art of the people of the Southwest.

Looking for something more modern and interactive, look no further than Meow Wolf. The museum opened in 2008 and is known for its immersive experiences that invite visitors to explore and become part of the story and the environment.

Originally from Wisconsin, Georgia O’Keeffe first came to New Mexico in 1929 and fell in love with the high desert, where the landscape and the culture inspired her work. She spent at least part of every year here until she died in 1986. You can learn more about Georgia and follow her artistic arc from childhood to her later watercolor works and other special exhibits at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

Enjoy the colorful cuisine

Every bite in Santa Fe’s cuisine packs a punch, from its complex and spicy dishes topped with red or green chile sauce (or the locals’ favorite, Christmas: a mix of both), to decadent hot chocolate, tasty margaritas, world-class fine dining, and green chile cheeseburgers. Santa Fe is the perfect place to sample all that Northern New Mexican cuisine has to offer. Whether you are looking for upscale dining or a quaint café or restaurant, Santa Fe has a variety of options to meet your needs.

The newest offering at Inn on the Alameda is Joe’s Tequila Bar. Relax in front of our fireplace or out under the stars on our patio as we serve up one of the best tequila menus in town, a full bar selection of wine, beer, and spirits, and dinner from 5-9 pm. Joe’s is also a part of the Santa Fe Margarita Trail, offering unique takes on the classic margarita. Spend part of your evening with us for a meal, a margarita, or one of our tequila flights.

Book your stay for spring

Celebrate Spring in Santa Fe with a stay at Inn on the Alameda. Staying at the Inn puts you two blocks away from The Santa Fe Plaza, the city’s shopping, dining, and cultural center, and just a few minutes’ walk from Canyon Road with its wide variety of galleries and shops. We offer a variety of rooms to meet your unique needs, including traditional and deluxe rooms and suites. Our pet-friendly rooms mean your favorite furry friend is welcome too. Book your stay now!

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Here in the Southwest region of the United States, we are blessed with a favorable climate, with generous sunshine and a rich cultural tradition of food, music, and dance. Flamenco is an especially vibrant form of dance – originally a product of the Andaluz region of Spain and popular here in Santa Fe. Flamenco has been in existence since the 16th century, but remains fresh and contemporary. This expressive art form involves guitars, percussion, and wildly colorful costumes. The dancing and music are vibrant, and emotionally stirring, and draw their influences from multinational roots: Arabs, Roma, Jews, and Moors.

While it’s easy to be swept up in the pageantry and color of the music and the athleticism of the dancing, flamenco also includes a rich storytelling element. The singing is as powerful as the instrument accompaniment – while also bringing a wistful element.

Santa Fe boasts multiple options for first-quality flamenco performances. Two renowned flamenco companies perform during the summer in Santa Fe.

Juan Siddi Flamenco Company performs at the Maria Benitez Cabaret Theater at The Lodge in Santa Fe with special guests Nevarez and Jose Encinias www.arteflamencosociety.org.

Performance dates are Wednesdays – Sundays; July 13 – August 26, 2018

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Another fantastic summer of flamenco performances at the Benitez Cabaret is set to begin in July as we welcome the inaugural season of EmiArteFlamenco in special collaboration with the National Institute of Flamenco!

This thrilling and passionate season features La Emi with special guests Nevarez y Jose Encinias, acclaimed guitarist Chuscales, and singers Jose Fernandez and Vicente Griego.

flamenco-couple

Tickets cost $20-$50 and can be purchased now through The Lensic Box Office at TicketsSantaFe.org or 505.988.1234. Group discounts (5 tickets or more) are available. Tickets will also be available at the door after 6:30 p.m.; doors open at 7:15 p.m. with shows starting at 8 p.m.

A second option is the Antonio Granjero and Entre Flamenco Company, https://www.entreflamenco.com. Individual ticket prices for each company are modestly priced, and range from $25 to $55. Ole!

After the show, the Inn on the Alameda provides the ideal atmosphere for winding down and relaxing with a light meal or after dinner drink. The Agogo Lounge serves from 5-9:30 pm daily. Our Southwest-appointed rooms reflect the rich culture of the region, while providing upscale amenities and a private balcony or patio for each room or suite. Located just two blocks from the Santa Fe plaza, the Inn on the Alameda is steps away from the best that Santa Fe offers.

For more information about the many entertainment options or our comfortable accommodations, check out our website or give us a call today.

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