Libations: Toro’s popular Mercado drink offers solid surprise for Snowmass Village
When you’re over in Snowmass and looking for something different, sometimes it can be hard to look past the offerings at the mall or Base Village.
A bit intimidating as the first big building you see when you roll uphill near the Wood Bridge but a few steps off Base Village is the Viceroy Snowmass hotel. And inside the lobby to the left is Toro. The kitchen and — more importantly for our purposes — the bar are in a warm and open space. The bar is right when you walk in and it has its own character.
With the season winding down this week, my drinking pal and I did a post-work stop after a full day in our offices.
I went into Toro with the idea of checking out their version of the paloma, which some say is Mexico’s most popular drink (sorry, margarita). Toro’s twist on the paloma includes jalapeno-infused tequila and real grapefruit along with some fancy grapefruit soda.
But after perusing the impressive list of classic and signature drinks, I stuck with my grapefruit desire but changed my mind and decided to go with the paloma (I’m sure my affinity for fruity IPA beers had a subconscious influence).
My drinking pal saw something she’s never seen that pulled her in: hibiscus rosemary foam.
Known as the Mercado (Spanish for market), it is Toro’s most popular drink, according to the barkeep. It starts with the same jalapeno-infused tequila as the paloma. The drink gets going with some agave nectar and passion fruit. Two last pieces that top it off: the foam, which if you’re lucky spills over the top of the glass, and a wedge of dried orange, which is reminiscent of a sweet potato chip.
Of course, the hibiscus rosemary foam on top is the first flavor you taste. Everything else seeps through that and picks up a spicy, sweet and tart seasoning. It sucked us in.
“And you have to try the orange wedge. It’s like a chip,” said my No. 1 barstool partner of more than 27 years. “This is the best fancy drink I’ve ever had.”
I trust that.
“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.