What do you get when a British architect and his painter wife move from the Caribbean to live on an apple farm in New Mexico? A distillery! Yes, life works in mysterious ways.
Colin Keegan, founder of Santa Fe Spirits, left England in 1990 and moved to the British Virgin Islands where he met his wife, Suzette. Two years later they moved to Santa Fe with their daughter, Phoebe, where Colin continued to work as an architect and Suzette found endless inspiration for her artwork.
They built a house in Tesuque, a traditional farming community just outside of Santa Fe, on a mature apple orchard with trees ranging from young saplings to massive centenarians. The orchard was so productive that the Keegans actually had a problem: Too much fruit! They started pressing the apples and fermenting the juice to make cider and brandies.
Colin always appreciated good Scotch and brandy, so when the economy took a turn in 2009, he decided to close his architectural business and focus on his true passion. When Santa Fe Spirits officially opened in 2010, Colin considered it the dream of a lifetime.
The distillery is located 7,000 feet above sea level at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in the heart of the Southwest. The distillers forage the surrounding area for botanicals and ingredients to use in each spirit they make, resulting in truly exceptional liquors that capture the unique terroir of Santa Fe (their single malt gets smoked with mesquite!). Their small-batch portfolio includes silver whiskey, gin, single malt whiskey, vodka, smoked gin and, of course, the brandy that inspired it all.
How ‘bout them apples?