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  • Writer's pictureNicholas R Peña

La Fonda Bell Tower Bar in Santa Fe features the Mana Margarita by Mixoligist Carla Gilfillan

There’s something about ordering the perfect drink, at the right time of day, in an enchanting place that helps our minds inspire the senses to design a memory that is forged in our mind for a lifetime. Can you recall such a memory? Maybe it was a piña colada while enjoying the silky sand on a desolate beach in the Bahamas? Maybe a hot toddy in the midst of a winter wonderland, while staying in a mountain chalet in Wyoming? How about savoring a robust Cabernet in Napa while overlooking the vast sea of grape vines?

The Mana Margarita by Carla Gilfillan
Mixologist Carla Gilfillan Shows off her Mana Margarita at the Bell Tower Bar inside the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe New Mexico

Well, when you visit Santa Fe, it has to be a margarita at the Bell Tower Bar on the 5th floor the La Fonda Hotel. Originally a Harvey House, the current La Fonda Hotel structure dates back to1922 before a well know city ordinance was implemented that does not allow for any buildings to be taller than three stories. Making the west facing Bell Tower Bar one of the best venues in town to watch the infamous Santa Fe sunset. The sky seems to be putting on a show, and guests and locals alike flock daily to see the beautiful display of color, splashed onto the sky like nowhere else in the world. Similarly to Santa Fe Opera goers on a night that La Boehme is featured. And of course, no show is complete without the perfect cocktail.

Beverage Manager Carla Gilfillan is a well-known mixologist in New Mexico with talent that almost surpasses her positive energy and bubbly personality and she has decided to share her latest work of art, The Mana Margarita. While staying true to traditional margarita recipes, Gillfillan adds a dash of tropical hints to provoke the senses.

“The Mana Margarita is a tiki-style margarita, and is our signature Margarita Trail margarita at the Bell Tower this season,” says Gilfillan, “We use our Patrón Añejo single barrel tequila that I specifically selected at the distillery in Atotonilco Jalisco, with this margarita in mind. It’s a French oak barrel, and the soft flavors from the oak go really well with the Caribbean flavors in the margarita. You can just as easily substitute regular Patrón Añejo and it’s just as delicious. Director of Food and Beverage John Cuviello says, “Despite being one of the busiest hotels in the state, Carla still takes time to craft menus that are true to New Mexico culture with, bold fresh flavors that liven the palate with every sip.”

Mana Margarita

  • 1 ½ oz Partón Añejo tequila

  • ½ oz Patrón Citronge Mango liqueur

  • ½ oz Velvet Falernum (almond/allspice/lime liqueur from Barbados)

  • ½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1 dash Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters (or Angostura bitters if unavailable)

  • Shake and serve on ice, garnish with a fresh mint spring

For more information visit: The Bell Tower Bar at La Fonda Santa Fe

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