Santa Fe Margaritas made w/ FRESH lime juice
I'm headed to Santa Fe this week. This will be my 3rd visit. My only disapointment in the past has been in being served margaritas made from a bottled mix. One bartender told me it was a locally made mix, but still, it tasted too sweet and chemical to me. I prefer fresh lime juice. Who serves killer margaritas made with fresh lime juice?
I THINK we've had good luck at the Dragon Room and at the Ore House--no guarantees, have not seen anyone actually grinding limes--but I also think that these places (especially the Ore House) serve up a wide variety of Margaritas with wildly differing prices. (Best policy might be to ask first, or ask for a drink list with descriptions; I think that the recipe for a "silver coin" margarita specifies fresh lime, as do many others, but who knows which places really use it?)
There's a place frequented by locals not too far from the plaza--corner on Galisteo??--the name escapes me--and they serve up cocktail mixers full of the stuff, cheap, but always wickedly sweet tasting. (Decent, cheap hamburgers however.)
Had good Margaritas at another place, I think, couple of blocks west of the Plaza on Palace Ave. Again, can't remember the name, but it is now a rather high-end restaurant often featuring game meats. Rumored to have been a brothel in the distant past, but for all I know this is just may just be a marketing ploy. (However, they do have giant, rear-end portrait of a buck-naked maiden prominently displayed on the wall opposite the bar.)
Anyway, enjoy the exploration. Sorry I can't be more specific, as I now reside in ABQ, not Santa Fe--only visit SF from time to time.
The Dragon Room is at The Pink Adobe restaurant not The Ore House; Dragon Room is a true "hangout" though I can't speak to their margaritas.
Only place I recall having margaritas made with freshly squeezed lime juice was at Coyote Cafe, Mark Miller's high-end restaurant. Really tart and different from what is served most other places. My recollection is old so be warned and I cannot vouch that they are/were made the same way at his very popular adjacent Coyote Cantina.
The place in Santa Fe that everyone considers to be the defining margarita experience (menu of choices/possibilities is three pages) is Maria's. It is a not very fancy Mexican restaurant that many swear by (I'm not among them). I'm almost certain they use a mix of their own making but I'd bet they'd make whatever you want and squeeze the limes in front of you.
The "mix" mentioned in suhicks response is indeed a locally made product from "Eat Me" foods, part of the Santa Fe Chile Company (link below). It IS better than most mixes and - according to the owners - is used in 80% of the Santa Fe bars/restaurants.
Santa Fe Chile Company:
I do remember being very happy with the cocktails at the Dragon Room. I can't stand a watery or chemical tasting drink. I will seek out these other places. And, I may pack my reamer for my own version: 1 part fresh lime, 1 part Triple Sec, 1.5 parts Cuervo Gold. Thanks.
OK - Maria's is THE place for margaritas. The New Mexican food is average to good but the margaritas are excellent. We enjoy Coyote Cantina's margaritas. Harry's Roadhouse makes an excellent margarita. We also enjoy Blue Corn's margaritas. None of these are too sweet and they are all made with real juice.