Drink A Holiday Cocktail Steeped in History
By Ashlin Wilhelm
Director of Food and Beverage, Bishop’s Lodge
As Director of Food & Beverage at Bishop’s Lodge, I love searching for new ways of expressing the unique character of this iconic place while preserving its incredible history. This holiday season, the new Black Walnut Horchata does both.
A popular Hispanic drink, horchata is traditionally made with soaked rice, but different areas in Mexico have their own unique accents, like almonds in Sonora.
Our expression is prepared with black walnuts grown on the property, a vestige of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy’s early years at the estate. The first Archbishop of Santa Fe was known for his copious plantings, which included all sorts of fruit trees, from his prized cherry tree, to peach, pear and apple orchards, to pistachio and walnut trees. (There are stories of him plucking apples from the church grounds to give to parishioners.)
Making the horchata is a lengthy affair. After the black walnuts fall to the ground, they take a further two weeks to “cure” or dry out. We then steeped the walnuts alongside fresh vanilla beans in a 100 percent corn-based locally-distilled vodka for two further weeks. We also soaked walnuts, rice and spices for a cold, slow extraction for about three or four days for the most prominent flavor.
While horchata is often enjoyed as a hearty breakfast drink, it’s also a festive holiday drink, so we’re serving our Black Walnut Horchata as an after-dinner or dessert cocktail in elegant 1930s Nick and Nora stemware.
The end result? A totally worth-the-wait cocktail that brings together the warm spices of the season with a luxuriously silky-smooth mouthfeel and bold walnut flavor. But since we’re only using black walnuts from our four walnut trees, these cocktails are a limited seasonal release. Get the drink while you can—or you might just have to wait until the next holiday season.