Santa Fe Foodies

Where the Locals Go

Viva Sandia-Santa Fe Sips

This drink is a margarita variation and the combination of watermelon juice and lemon juice make it tasty, light, and refreshing.

Viva Sandia, The Canary, Santa Monica


  • 2.0 oz Tequila blanco
  • 0.25 oz Aperol
  • 1 oz Watermelon juice
  • 0.75 oz Lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz Simple syrup
  • 2 dash Angostura bitters
  • No garnish


  • Chill a coupe glass.
  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds.
  • Strain into the coupe glass


  1. The tiny bit of Aperol gives the drink a slightly bitter finish that works beautifully with the tanginess of the lemon juice.
  2. Be sure to use fresh watermelon juice

About Matt Mathai

My Santa Fe street cred: almost zero, but I do love it here. My wife and I retired to Santa Fein 2019 after buying our house here in 2012. We lived in Annapolis, MD for many years and had long careers. Mine was in technology – airline communications, healthcare, and online training delivery.
I love to eat good food, although I can do without some of the fussiness of fine dining. Good food to me reflects its cuisine/place of origin, is filling, and doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • From childhood, I’ve traveled (and eaten) all over the world, and when these pandemic restrictions ease, my wife and I will begin traveling again.
  • I have done sports photography professionally for about 15 years, mostly soccer and rugby. I’ve covered league and national team matches in both sports, for both men’s and women’s teams. Whenever I stop doing that, I want to get better at landscape and travel photography. Santa Fe is perfect for that.
  • I used to be a musician – a guitar player and singer. I quit graduate school to play in a band, which really didn’t go over very well with my parents. One day I’ll get back to it, just for myself.
  • I spend way too much time and attention on my dog, Luna, but it keeps me engaged and has gotten me fit.
  • And now, I love cocktails. After a long (30+ year) period of avoiding alcohol completely – don’t ask – I’ve jumped back into the deep end of the pool.
What I am:
  • I’m an enthusiast – I picked this hobby when the lockdowns started in March 2020. My goal was to be able to reliably produce 10 drinks I’d be proud to serve to my friends. (Now all I need is 10 friends.) The more I learn, the more there seems to be to learn. I’ve made over 400 different cocktails since I began, and have easily twice that many I have yet to try.
  • I’m unendingly curious about how ingredients work together and why classic drinks became, and remained, classics. I’ve joined several cocktail-oriented groups on Facebook, followed bartending channels on YouTube, and bought cocktail books. I’ve been given advice by professional bartenders and other enthusiasts. I’ve learned a lot from all of them. I’ve even invented a few cocktails myself!
What I am not:
  • I’m not an expert. I know that the drinks I make reflect my palate and my biases, so I’m always eager to try new stuff. Everyone has different tastes and when you make drinks you should feel free to adjust recipes as you see fit. Your own palate is the best guide.
  • I’m not a snob. I don’t always head for the most expensive end of the liquor shelves to find my ingredients. (This might be another way of saying I’m cheap)
This blog:
  • I will write about drinks I have made and liked, and I hope that complements the mission of the Santa Fe Foodies group. I will provide a recipe for every drink so you can try it for yourself. Wherever possible, I will give credit to the creator of the drink along with some history about its creation. Many of these drinks have interesting names and origin stories. If there’s interest in my continuing, I will try to cover cocktails that use different base spirits or that fit into different cocktail genres.
  • I really encourage anyone with an interest in the topic to give me feedback. Tell me what I’m doing wrong, where I can improve, what other spirits to try, etc. I know there are professional bartenders in this forum and several others who have done this for WAY longer than I have. Please contribute.
  • Note: I have no pretensions about being a craft cocktail mixologist or whatever the current designation is. Because of that, I will make very few drinks that require esoteric ingredients that don’t have a decent shelf life and that aren’t used in multiple cocktails, tasty though they might be. I’ll try to stick to widely-available ingredients.
OK, enough with the introduction. Let’s get to it.

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