Since Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm opened its restaurant, Campo, in 2017, diners have been able to eat the flavors of New Mexico.
And now, they’ll be able to drink them.
Los Poblanos is introducing a pair of gins featuring botanicals grown in the Los Ranchos farm. The Western Dry gin includes 16 botanicals, including chamomile and the second liquor is flavored with one of Los Poblanos most iconic crops: lavender.
“I would say that it’s very floral,” said Los Poblanos executive director Matt Rembe. “It definitely has notes of lavender, but it definitely has notes of piñon, notes of chamomile.”
The Los Poblanos gin line was first conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic. During a drought in the hospitality business, Rembe said the farm started looking at creating more retail products to sustain the business and the employees that worked there. Los Poblanos was able to keep its entire staff throughout the pandemic, so Rembe said they were able to hit the ground running with new retail.
The first products were Los Poblanos’ lavender bath-and-body products, which feature essential oils distilled from the botanicals grown on the farm. Distilling essential oils translated easily into distilling alcohol, Rembe said.
“We have these old, very traditional copper stills,” Rembe said. “We’ve become very proficient in distillation.”
Los Poblanos didn’t have to add any employees to develop the liquors.
“Instead of going out and hiring a traditional spirits distiller, we’ve been using the expertise of our existing team,” Rembe said.
The gins are “new western” style liquors – meaning they’re less juniper forward than their traditional counterparts, and reflect the flavors of where they’re produced. In Japan, for example, a new western gin would include cherry blossom, Rembe said.
“These New Westerns really represent … their areas very well,” Rembe said. “… They’re (people are) sort of pleasantly surprised when they try these new gins.”
The new liquor will be complemented by Town & Ranch, Los Poblanos’ new tasting room in Downtown Albuquerque.
The 1940s era building, at 1318 Fourth NW, was originally called Town & Ranch supplies; they decided to keep the name. Rembe said that the name now represents the two homes of Los Poblanos: “town” referring to “downtown,” and “ranch” referring to the Los Ranchos farm. Los Poblanos replicated the original 1940s sign.
“We love the idea of repurposing those old buildings and telling those stories as well as rethinking how they can help the community,” Rembe said.
The tasting room will open on Oct. 4.
Los Poblanos is also adding a new store, Farm Shop Norte, in Santa Fe. The store, which is set to open sometime in October, is in a renovated Sinclair Oil gas station and farm supply store. It features los Poblanos farm products, as well as artisanal homewares and New Mexico-produced liquors.
The Downtown tasting room will allow customers to see Los Poblanos employees distill the liquor as well as make their bath-and-body products.
“Everything is made painstakingly by hand,” Rembe said. “… We’ll bring a new story Downtown.”