Story by Valerie Ashe, photo by Stephanie Cameron, recipe by Nicole Wynnyk
Have you ever enjoyed a classic cocktail on Seasons’ rooftop patio on a warm summer evening? Looked out across the watermelon-hued sunset reflected against the Sandia Mountains? Or enjoyed a hot toddy inside Seasons’ festive, enclosed rooftop bar at Christmastime? If not, you are missing out.
Nicole Wynnyk has worked behind the locally famous bar for nearly five years. She lends her artistic bent to her craft at the well. An artist at heart, architect and designer by training, and self-professed whiskey acolyte, Wynnyk infuses her cocktails with inspiration from a background in art and design. Over the years she has crafted crowd-pleasing cocktails such as Meet Your Maker, featuring Maker’s Mark bourbon whiskey, ginger ale, and grapefruit bitters; and the Stiletto (Crown Royal Canadian whiskey mixed with Disaronno liqueur, vermouth, and orange bitters), which she credits to friend and Southern Wine and Spirits employee Leif West. But to Seasons and to Wynnyk, mixing drinks isn’t just about experimenting with spirits and various concoctions behind the bar. It’s about honoring local craftspeople and ingredients—as local as their own premises.
Several Seasons employees live on or own farms—one employee even started his own winery—and the restaurant started growing its own mint and basil earlier this spring on the rooftop. In addition to supplying their own ingredients, Seasons has long patronized local farms and purveyors, such as Cecilia’s Organics, Talus Wind Ranch heritage meats, Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory, as well as local wineries, distilleries, and breweries such as Gruet Winery, KGB Spirits, Marble Brewery, and La Cumbre Brewing Company.
Seasons supports the local economy not only by sourcing regional food, but also by supporting the local workforce. “The reason we have a reputation for great service is that a lot of people work for Seasons for a very long time,” says Wynnyk. “They are great owners to work for and they take care of their employees—even down to feeding and caring for us.”
Seasons Rotisserie and Grill
2031 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque
505-766-5100 · www.seasonsabq.com
Effen Good Cocktail
- 2 ounces Effen Cucumber Vodka
- 1/4 ounce vanilla bean and mint infused agave nectar
- 1/2 ounce homemade lemonade
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- 5 – 6 mint leaves
- 1 slice of cucumber
Combine vodka, agave nectar, fresh lemon (just the juice), and mint in a Mason jar packed with ice. With a lid on, shake vigorously. Pour everything into Collins glass. Top off with a splash of lemonade and a slice of cucumber.