Chimayó Cocktail


The Chimayó cocktail is a drink that originates in New Mexico, at Rancho de Chimayó.  A tequila drink, this cocktail has some fantastic flavor.

Chimayó is a region of northern New Mexico that has been a pilgrimage site for many Catholics thanks to the Catholic Chapel, the Santuario de Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas, or just the Santuario de Chimayó.  The Santuario was built in 1816, and was made as a place for local people to worship Jesus in a manner that was mixed with local custom and practices that worshiped the Earth and soil.  However, now the shrine is a part of the Santa Fe Archdiocese, and is managed as if it were a Catholic church, while retaining some of its’ original lore and history, especially its’ sacred nature as a site exhibiting panacea-like qualities.

Rancho de Chimayó is an exceptionally great restaurant in the heart of the Chimayó valley.  The restaurant is built out of an old hacienda, which was owned by the Jaramillo family.  Built in an old restored home, the restaurant has a wonderful aesthetic, a lovely patio, great sangria, and a cocktail that was created by the family in 1965, when the restaurant opened.  The owner of the restaurant, Arturo Jaramillo, created this drink out of the spare apples that were plentiful around the Chimayó region.

Born of apple cider, specifically American, unfiltered and unsweetened cider, the drink is still quite a good drink if you use an English demi-sec.  However, the taste is completely different, so keep that in mind.  The traditional garnish still is to have a piece of apple on the rim of the glass, but at the restaurant they actually coat the rim in cinnamon as well, giving it a wonderfully rich and earthy taste; in my opinion, this pairs really nicely with the apple notes, and is even nicer when you use a tequila with a bit more backbone, such as a reposado.  Personally, I found the drink still too sweet even at the provided recipes, but if you adjust it, you can get a great flavor suited to your needs.

A great long drink, this is a wonderful alternative to a Tequila Sunrise, especially for those who do not like the taste of oranges.

Chimayó Cocktail:

1 1/2 to 2 ounces tequila
1/4 ounce crème de cassis
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce unsweetened or very dry apple cider

Combine all the ingredients but the cider in a shaker tin, shake with ice, and strain into a chilled glass (optionally garnished with a cinnamon rim).  Garnish with an apple slice or cinnamon stick.