ABQ’S MIXOLOGIST DANIEL GONZALES STIRS UP A FEW COCKTAILS WITH MILK MONEY VODKA, A BRAND NEW PREMIUM VODKA ON THE SHELVES OF BARS AND STORES ACROSS THE SOUTHWEST
Do you recognize that smell? Oh yes, the air is getting cooler, the sun is setting earlier, and the green chile is roasting in the clean New Mexico air. For many of us, this is the most beautiful time to be in ABQ. I’m standing behind the bar at Vernon’s, and I can tell my guests are itching for something new, different, and interesting. Summertime libations are losing their appeal, while the popular winter drinks are not yet being ordered.
The first cocktail I created is a hybrid of the Summer and Autumn seasons, combining the depth of a dark tea and fall evenings, alongside the lingering brightness of a long summer night.
I took blueberries and raspberries and freshly brewed apple cinnamon tea, added some lemon juice, honey, Milk Money Vodka, and a grapefruit liqueur. I call it ‘The Cool Toddy’
Chocolate is always an acceptable flavor during the transition from fall into the colder months of the year.I decided to make a nice combination of a rich chocolate and toffee with a hint of mint and the density of cream to give this cocktail the weight of the falling mercury. I named it, ‘M.M.M.M.’
The air in New Mexico changes as you drive the roads around the cities, towns, and gorgeous villages dotted across the state. I created this particular cocktail with roasted red chile, fresh basil, cilantro, and lemon juice. I added limoncello and the Milk Money Vodka to complete this unique drink. I call it ‘The Poinsettia’.
The final drink I created for the rotation of the season, Paduano’s Pleasure was in honor of a great donor and a great cause. Earlier this month, the United Way and Milk Money Vodka contacted me to craft a cocktail worthy enough and based upon the particular tastes of the donor to this charity. Tony Paduano and I met and we discussed his likes and dislikes. In the end, we came up with a dark berry and herb cocktail with the signature Milk Money Vodka, a splash of pomegranate liqueur, lime juice, blueberries and a sprig of thyme to finish it off. A cocktail tailored for the gentleman who made a significant donation to a worthy cause.
By Daniel Gonzales, ABQ-Live Mixologist
Photography by Kori Kobayashi