Get Your Nosh On
Duran Central Pharmacy
Affectionately known as Duran’s, this New Mexican institution is famed for its toothsome tortillas and rich chiles. I prefer their red, but know many who swear by the green. Now, while you can purchase one or the other, I’d recommend the undeniably charming Combo Chile Gift Set now on offer just in time for all your Xmas (smothering) needs. While the restaurant has remained open at 25 percent capacity due to the functioning pharmacy, Duran’s encourages non-pharma shoppers to use their excellent website and drive-thru services until better days come.
New Mexico Tea Co.
With temperatures dropping and the chance that a simple cough could be misconstrued, we suggest gifting a “Tea Collection” from N.M. Tea Co. Each of the ten collections comes with nine teas curated around a theme. One can’t go wrong with the holiday set of delicious body-and-soul-warming teas, including Sandia Spice, Cream Earl Grey, Hot Cinnamon, Blood Orange Rooibos, Pomegranate White, Maple Oolong and others ($24). What’s more, you don’t even have to stop by their brick and mortar (as a “dry goods” store they are open; but due to COVID restrictions, you can’t smell the teas anyway). The store kindly offers pay-as-you-feel delivery all over town! Please visit their website at nmteaco.com
Jubilation Wine and Spirits
For your boozy gift needs this holiday season, look no further than Albuquerque’s premier bottle shop. The friendly and knowledgeable staff suggests Colkegan Hand-Crafted Single-Malt Whiskey from Santa Fe Spirits. This rich, deep nectar is New Mexico’s answer to a peated scotch: the mash is pure malted barley, some of which is mesquite smoked—making for a truly singular dram. If top-shelf brown liquor is not your thing, Jubilation recommends another local favorite in the fruity and herbaceous Teller Blueberry Lavender Infused Vodka, made by Safe House Distilling. While Jubilation has strict COVID safety guidelines in place, they are not able to offer curbside pick-up due to the wording of a 1998 liquor law.
Keller’s Farm Stores
For many, a silver lining of the pandemic has been the opportunity to hone their cookery skills. Keller’s stands as a beacon here in Albuquerque for those who need more rarified cuts of quality meats. But did you know they also carry more, shall we say, “exotic” flesh? If you have someone in your life who is always ready for their next culinary adventure, consider Keller’s alligator or frog legs. You also couldn’t go wrong with their cuts of buffalo, goat, venison or elk. While shopping, be sure to peruse their aisle of dry goods, as well. They carry many local sauces, spice-rubs and marinades.
La Montañita Co-op
With locations in Nob Hill and the North Valley, the Co-op is a sure bet for quality local products that make great gifts, whether placed around a tree, menorah or kinara. While you are stocking up your fridge and pantry, consider the following artisanal products from around the state. First off, Moses Kountry’s Raw Honey from the North Valley makes a sweet gift with potential allergy-relieving properties. Camino de Paz, a secondary Montessori school up in Santa Fe that doubles as a farm, makes an excellent line of goat cheeses (though be sure to keep them refrigerated). And for flavored coffee fans, consider New Mexico Piñon Coffee, which comes in both light and dark piñon varieties, as well as a bizcochito flavor. [ ]