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NM Magazine - Our Six Favorite New Distilleries

In the Press

SFS barrel racks


Founded: 2010, Santa Fe
Englishman Colin Keegan embraces local ingredients to give his spirits a distinct Land of Enchantment taste. The most terroir-forward spirit is the Atapiño Liqueur, which, to his knowledge, is the world’s only piñon liqueur. Harvested from the Santa Fe National Forest, the nuts are roasted and infused into the liqueur. It’s then barrel-aged and sweetened with ponderosa pine sap. “When you drink it, you really feel like you’re hiking in the woods on a fall day,” says national sales manager Jimmy McCabe.

Keegan also gathers ingredients from his own backyard. He and his wife bought the former home of Archbishop Lamy’s grounds-keeper (a property rich in New Mexico history), and it came with a centuries-old fruit orchard. The juice from those apples—and others—is fermented and distilled into the Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy. Cocktails at the company’s Santa Fe tasting room are the pinnacle of the craft experience, often concocted with house-made bitters, syrups, shrubs, infusions, and even its own tonic water.

Sip This: The Wheeler’s Gin is a spirit rich with New Mexico botanicals such as cholla blossom, osha root, and juniper. The cholla gives it cucumber and hibiscus notes, while the osha lends an earthy flavor. The gin goes into the spirit maker’s Sage Collins, a New Mexican twist on the Tom Collins.


Visit: Distillery tours are available at 1, 3, and 5 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays—reservations required (7501 Mallard Way, Unit 1, Santa Fe, 505-467-8892). Book a class there to learn how to stir, shake, muddle, and even spank (yes, spank) as you craft your own cocktails, or visit the tasting room (308 Read St., Santa Fe, 505-780-5906, santafespirits.com).