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Hot spirits: Bloody Maria Fiesta explores world of spicy drinks

Celebrate the spicier side of beer and spirits during the first Bloody Maria Fiesta at Cities of Gold in Santa Fe.

The festival on Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16, will feature locally owned and made Bloody Maria mix combined with tequila or beer.

“The mix itself is just a veggie cocktail with the green chile spice added to it, and you can kind of cook with it and it’s a mixture for spirit as well as beer,” said Bloody Maria co-founder and co-owner Malisa Braselle. “We’ll have a Patrón-sponsored Bloody Maria, bar so there will be all of the Bloody Maria garnishes, like all of the vegetables that you can put in there. I think they are doing some savory meats like candied bacon and different toppings. And then besides the Patrón (tequila) Bloody Marias, we’ll have a michelada beer fest that will highlight all of the pre-mix michelada cocktails that some of the bigger brands do. We’ll have a tasting event with all of the Mexican brands and some domestic flavors.”

Attendees will be allowed five to eight tastings and will be able to purchase their favorite full-size version from cash bars, according to Braselle. In addition to Bloody Maria samples and michelada samples, there will be food samples, food trucks, a car show, games, artists, numerous vendors from the northern New Mexico area, live entertainment and more. Heavy metal mariachi band Metalachi headlines on Saturday and rap artist Shwayze headlines on Sunday, according to Christine Gabaldon, Buffalo Thunder/Cities of Gold marketing director. The fiesta commemorates Cities of Gold’s 22nd anniversary.

“It’s basically a carnival for adults,” Gabaldon said.

Braselle and Marcos Aragon launched the Bloody Maria product in 2014. The recipe was an idea Aragon had after working in hospitality and bartending. He teamed up with Braselle to handle the marketing end and put her Master of Business Administration in marketing from the University of New Mexico to good use.

“His idea for a more healthy version of a bloody mary came from him wanting to service that industry from seeing how well bloody marys sold in different hotels and places that he worked,” Braselle said.

The team also has a sister brand to Bloody Maria called Nuevo Cerveza, a Mexican-style beer made by Santa Fe Brewing Co. Nuevo was developed alongside Bloody Maria, according to Braselle.

“The michelada cocktail with beer is sort of our natural complement, and Bloody Maria is authentically New Mexican, and the beer being called Nuevo we have a little joke, we call it the New MexiCan because it’s a canned beer,” she said. “We kind of love to highlight that both are such New Mexico products that its a New Mexico michelada.”