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I Just Upgraded My Red River, NM Drinking Experience

By Rob Swan of Swan Realty, March 16, 2024

I need to preface this article by admitting to the fact that I am in no way a connoisseur of adult beverages. My experience and knowledge of drinking has not progressed much from my college days when I got good at popping a top on a cold beer and pouring some bourbon into a glass. Don’t get me wrong, I have no complaints, cold beer and Jack Daniels has served me well over the years. However, prompted by the brokers in my office,  I recently ventured  into the Red River Breweries new distillery addition on the east side of Red River that specializes in craft cocktails. 

Craft cocktails, what?  As soon as I hear those words I usually go the other direction as I know this means foo foo drinks, which means that this is not my bar, and these are not my people. I was wrong!

The space is great, the bartenders are top notch, the crowd is lively and fun, and the drinks are amazing. Let’s start with the space, the building is on Red River’s east side and formerly housed a t-shirt shop, a real estate office, a hardware store, a hairdresser, and maybe some other businesses prior to my time. The bar is not large as 20 people will fill it to the brim. For those old timers that are still around, it is reminiscent of the previously deceased Chubbies Tavern at the Alpine Lodge where everybody knows your name, your business, and overhears all your conversations, but therein lies the charm. 

The bartenders are fantastic, depending on when you go you may have the pleasure of being served by either Michael or Quinton, both of which are some of  the most down to earth and friendly people you will meet in Red River, they are also very talented drink makers, conversationalists and all around good guys. 

So now the drinks, the spirits are all distilled right here in Red River and done with precision and care, they must be, because the quality is superior to some of the best known brands, you can see for yourself, just order their spirit sampler, you won’t be disappointed. These great spirits are then blended into some of the best drinks I have ever had. How this blending part happens, I have no idea.  It appears that the drink making may involve some voodoo and a little hocus pocus as the bartender can be seen burning orange peels with a propane torch and blending those peels with other unknown substances that all eventually ends up as this amazing cocktail sitting in front of you. 

My personal favorite is their Smoked Old Fashioned. There is definitely no shortage of supernatural phenomena that goes into making this drink as it includes lighting wood chips on fire and trapping the smoke in your drink. Whatever else happened in the process to get that drink in front of me, I have no idea but it turned out to be the best drink I have ever had. 

Highly recommended!

Rob Swan

Qualifying Broker

Quinton from the Red River Distillery in the process of making a Smoked Old Fashioned
Quinton making a Smoked Old Fashioned


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