The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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Drying chiles hang in clusters throughout New Mexico. New Mexico's "state question": Red or green? only state in the U.S. that has a state question: Red or green? In fact, the spice in the chile is why we all have a euphoric outlook on life." In addition to the Chimayó peppers Milligan uses for his chile salt, one of his other favorite ingredients is the Mexican mole bitters made in Santa Fe by Bill York. York's company, Bitter End Bitters, is responsible for seven different bitters, all of which are chile-based, meshing well with Mulligan's palate and the spicy cocktail menu at the Hotel St. Francis. Mixologists can't just run down to the corner market and pick up some Chimayó peppers. At the direction of Long, chile farmer Centro Ocha grows five acres of Chimayó chiles exclusively for Milligan and St. Francis Executive Chef Estevan Garcia to use at the Hotel St. Francis and Hotel Chimayó. You can, however, use Milligan's formula as inspiration for your own chile salt. Four different types of chiles " Chimayó, piquin, arbol and crushed red pepper—factor into his recipe. Milligan also adds cumin, paprika, orange zest, kosher salt and a few other propri- etary ingredients that make up the final blend. The hundreds of ristas on view throughout New Mexico, are not Chimayó chiles. Maria Lorriane Vigil, Chimayó native and tour guide says locals know better than to use these peppers just for decoration. "Chimayó chiles are like gold because very few people farm it in Chimayó anymore as the whole process is a lot of work," says Vigil, whose family founded Chimayó along with the Ortega, Martinez, Chavez, Trujillo and Lopez families. Three thousands descendants still live in the region. For more information on the Hotel St. Francis Secreto Lounge or Chris Milligan's Hibiscus Margarita, click to Chris Milligan's Hibiscus Margarita featuring Secreto's Chimayó chile salt ◗ 1½ oz. Reposado tequila ◗ 1 oz. orange liqueur ◗ ¾ oz. fresh lime juice ◗ ½ oz. housemade hibiscus syrup* ◗ Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled, chile salt–rimmed glass. Garnish with a lime wheel. *For the housemade hibiscus syrup, bring 16 oz. of water to a boil and add 8 oz. of dried hibiscus flowers, 2 oz. chopped ginger, ½ oz. lemon juice. Let steep for 20 minutes and then strain. Re-measure liquid and add an equal amount of organic cane sugar. Return to the stove and cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved and the syrup is translucent. Add 1 oz. of high-proof clear rum or vodka as a preservative. Shelf life: about two weeks. july 2012 / the tasting panel / 123

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