Santa Fe. Mezcal.
La Neuva Blessings
I don’t drink much anymore. Even the smallest amount of wine gives me a tremendous headache the following day. No beer. either. But the hard stuff seems to be fine in small amounts. So I focus on only the best in small amounts.
A bit ago I saw a friend on facebook mention to another friend that mezcal would be a good choice. I’ve had some very good tequila margaritas, but never mezcal as such. It seems tequila is a type of mezcal – a distilled liquor made from agave.
We took our long weekend trip to Santa Fe over Thanksgiving, one of our favorite places to be. Especially our Air B&B which is located about twenty minutes outside of Santa Fe on the way to Madrid. It is in a small grouping of a few houses on a dirt road in the middle of the arroyos and pinons and with views of sunrise and sunset not to be matched.Blessings to have found this place several years ago. I’ll write more about this magical place later.
Our regular upscale restaurant visit is to Sazon. In my opinion the best of the best. Another blessing to have found it. It was there I remembered my friend’s conversation about mezcal and my promise to myself to try new things. And so it was.
La Nueva created by Chef Olea would be my drink. My first try of a smoky wondrous mezcal. The ingredients: Madre Espandin Mezcal, Agave, Angostura Bitters, Lemon Twist. I love gin martinis for their “herbyness.” Oh, the blessing of the Earth’s goodness.
This would not be everyone’s cup of tea, er, spirit. But it is mine. Very smoky. Bitter. Herbs. Touch of sweetness, but just a very little bit. When I make this, I will add a bit more agave.
The color was lovely, like a golden glass Christmas ornament glistening on the tree. Ice cubes and the lemon decorating with just enough brightness for the season. There is a musty flavor, a deep richness that goes to the heart of any gardener. The lingering on the tongue and then the herbs rising up into the roof of the mouth to the nose. And oh, my, such a lovely long lasting sip.
As I said, I’m not a big drinker anymore so this lasted me through almost the entire meal. It was the perfect accompaniment to the sweet mole duck breast enchiladas.Trying new foods and drink – only the best – is a celebration of art and love and passion and a true blessing for me. And finding Sazon and Chef Olea is another.
Below is a link to a video about the James Beard semifinalist and honoree of Michelle Obama’s Faces of Diversity Award for working with children. And he is dedicated to intimate seating and slow dining with only two seating times per night – 5:00 and 7:30. Lovely.
I never noticed this prayer at the entrance to Sazon before and didn’t see it until we were leaving that evening. No wonder I am so drawn to this place.
Dear God, I humbly request
Create a sacred space of joy around this kitchen
Help me feel the importance of what I do
Bless me as I prepare this meal
Bless the ingredients I use
May this meal be a reflection and embodiment of your love
And may it bless the body,
Mind, and spirit who partake of it.