The cocktail: that classic concoction that unites and relaxes us, helps us celebrate momentous occasions and enjoy the company of friends, family, and colleagues, alike. At Casa Gangotena, our team of bartenders and beverage specialists have created an exciting series of cocktails that pay tribute to Ecuador’s unique towns and provinces by celebrating native regional ingredients.
In this blog we’ll show you why Casa Gangotena’s Bar is where you can find and enjoy some of the best cocktails in all of Quito.
Best drinks in Quito? FIESTA by Casa Gangotena
Introducing FIESTA by Casa Gangotena. This line of cocktails was conceived to take our guests on a mixological tour through some of Ecuador’s loveliest provinces and towns, celebrating the wealth of unique native ingredients commonly enjoyed in each of these regions:
Here’s a quick preview of the best drinks you’ll enjoy as part of this new collection:
Fiesta del Maíz (The Maize Festival)
Maize (corn) grown in the northern province of Imbabura is as varied and as colorful as you can imagine. Yellow, purple, and black are just some of the hues that appear in many distinct recipes; one of which is a popular fermented beverage called chicha. Casa Gangotena’s mixologist has designed the Fiesta del Maíz to include bourbon, hominy, redcurrant, IPA, and gin.
Diablada de Píllaro (The Devil’s Dance of Píllaro)
Ecuador’s past is an important and contentious part of the nation’s history; one that provides insights into the rebellious actions of indigenous groups that used imagery, art, and dance to amplify their protests against the injustices of Spanish colonial rule. This concoction features a devilish mix of rum, apple, ginger, hot pepper, hominy juice, and goldenberry.
Carnaval de Guaranda (Guaranda Carnival)
In Bolívar Province, the municipality of Guaranda is famous for its celebration of Carnival. The region’s own blend of moonshine, called Pájaro Azul, features alongside vodka, hops, figs, white truffle, and turmeric in this festive and tasty libation.
La Mama Negra (The Black Mama)
Just about an hour south of Quito, in the city of Latacunga, the Virgin of Mercy is believed to have stopped the eruption of nearby Cotopaxi volcano in 1742. She is the colorful embodiment of the indigenous, African, and Spanish peoples who inhabited the area. In her honor, rum, toasted butter, purple sweet potato, cocoa mucilage, and sherry-cask whisky combine in celebratory tribute.
Carnaval de Flores y Frutas (Carnival of Flowers and Fruits)
Just a short distance from Latacunga, Ambato’s bountiful lands produce a wealth of flowers. These are revered with an exuberant beverage comprised of gin, roses, quince, lavender, and tequila.
Corpus Christi en Pujilí (Corpus Christi in Pujilí)
The Inca Emperor Huayna Capac, who ruled over these lands centuries ago, is referenced in the exuberant and dynamic costumes and headdresses that inspire today’s cultural celebrations of mestizaje in the small town of Pujilí. This tradition is captured in a delicious and quality blend of whisky, sugar cane, rose water, carrot, and coconut.
Homage: Where Familiar Flavors Meet Their Match
Another new addition to Casa Gangotena’s bar menu is Homage, cocktails with flavors you’ve come to love in unique new combinations that we’re certain will entice your palate!
Caña Manabita: Accommodating and Adventurous
One of the unique spirits found in Ecuador is caña, a liquor produced through the distillation of sugar cane juice. The coastal province of Manabá enjoys a splendid reputation for its heavenly caña manabita. Let’s look at how Homage creations extol the virtues of this regional favorite.
Beginning with Sangorache, caña manabita is the fuel that turns this seven-herb Andean tea blended with pineapple, key lime, egg whites, and syrup (made from lavender and chamomile) into a light, sweet, and tangy mosaic that provides plenty of refreshment and just the right punch.
Similarly, the Alquimia also includes chamomile, this time, as part of a rose-infused gin combined with pineapple extract, cucumber, and passion fruit, taking to the proverbial dancefloor with the ultimate tangerine-infused caña manabita. The result is astounding!
The Mashpi, named for Casa Gangotena’s sister hotel and reserve in the heart of the Chocó rainforest, is all about adventure. Imagine a smooth Chardonnay dressed in ginger, lemon leaves, and just the right amount of basil syrup. Now, transform it with the star ingredient—a pineapple- and nut-infused caña manabita! Invigorating doesn’t begin to describe the magic of this concoction!
Flor de Jamaica
In keeping with this theme, Homage presents this simple and exotic beverage that takes caña manabita infused with coconut and the Flower of Jamaica (hibiscus) and combines it with lemon verbena, blackberry, Sauvignon Blanc, and ginger. It provides the perfect little pick-me-up to get your afternoon or evening off to the right start!
Quito’s Old Town is steeped in tradition and well known for being the place where you can find the country’s best Canelazo. This tried-and-true recipe takes an already perfect drink and makes it even better! Our bartenders blend the same hibiscus- and coconut-infused caña manabita with naranjilla, cinnamon water, gala apple purée, and chamomile syrup to produce Nuestro (our) Canelazo, an unforgettable drink we’re certain you’ll enjoy as much as any local!
Stylish Comfort never tasted so good!
Next up, we have a set of signature cocktails that highlight and transform familiar flavors like vodka, gin, rum, and whisky into delightful iterations that we hope will become your new favorites!
To create a beverage that embodies the profound and hearty traits of strength and confidence, Casa Gangotena’s mixologist has drafted some rather unique ingredients, which, on their own, may not seem so formidable, but when combined, feel centurion; pineapple-infused rum, jalapeño, cantaloupe, and cured ham sauce meld with Aperol and syrup made with ylang ylang (a fragrant, tropical, star-shaped flower) to form El Guardián.
Rhubarb and pineapple bring a touch of sweet—and perhaps just the right amount of tart—to a rather austere encounter between vodka and mezcal. Add to this a little liquid smoke, and you’ve captured the essence of a fascinating noir film in an irresistible and sophisticated cocktail.
Zarza de Monte
Along the ridges of the rolling hills in the impressive mountainous region of Ecuador’s snow-peaked Andes, berry bushes grow both eagerly and vibrantly. This bramble, or zarza, is honored in a reinterpretation of the classic gin and tonic; one that welcomes the addition of tangerine, raspberry, currant, Meyer lemon, and sunflower syrup.
Cardamom, with its intense aroma, is a spice commonly associated with Indian cuisine. However, did you know that Latin America has become one of the most important producers of this highly sought-after ingredient? The Licoroso takes full advantage of it in this pairing with both sherry and sherry-cask whisky.
Sometimes, it’s hard to decide on the right drink. Perhaps you just need a simple, straightforward, and silky concoction that will hit the spot and wet your whistle. The Cremoso may be just what you desire: vodka, sesame seed, and sherry brandy.
Margaritas: Sunshine in a Glass
As adventurous as our cocktail selection appears, when it comes to margaritas, you’re in for an even more exciting treat! Our resident mixologist has created four variations on this theme that are sure to scratch any tequila-driven itch!
For instance, our Mestiza Margarita combines white tequila with ginger- and pear-infused pisco, triple sec, coconut syrup, and Meyer lemon. The rim of the glass is bedazzled in a fun and spicy chipotle salt.
Our Apple Strudel, on the other hand, features an aged Corralejo Tequila and aged Diplomático Rum, plus a little triple sec, and, of course, apple strudel and coconut syrup. Sweet and serious or seriously sweet? You be the judge!
For those who merely wish to be transported to a beautiful tropical paradise, may we interest you in the Mango Tropical? This mix of vintage tequila, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, and orange liqueur will surely do the trick!
Finally, for those who want a blast of summer sunshine, we recommend the Melón y Menta, which takes white tequila, naranjilla, melon, and mint and bathes this lovely combination in a healthy shot of orange liqueur.
Botanicals – Flowers at Their Tastiest!
New to the stable of Casa Gangotena bar drinks are a pair of beverages that reflect the essence of Ecuador’s tremendous flower culture. Roses and sunflowers are often combined in readily available bouquets around almost every street corner in Quito and other cities. Here, each one takes center stage.
A trio of gin, chamomile, and parsley is the perfect complement to the beauty and aroma of roses in our Manzanilla y Rosas botanical. Similarly, an orchestra formed of gin, goldenberries, apple, and dill performs a charming concert with the smooth and bright taste of sunflowers in our Grosellas y Girasoles.
Mocktails – All the Fun; None of the Booze
Some folks may not wish to experience the alcohol of our signature cocktails. For them, we have prepared a special list of mocktails designed to focus on the ingenious combinations of flavors that will most definitely put a smile on their face!
In our tangy and aromatic Floresta, tangerine from the region of Patate features alongside raspberry, pineapple syrup, lavender, chamomile syrup, and Meyer lemon. Pineapple syrup is also a key ingredient in El Santo, which oversees the melding of blackberry, green tea, mango, and Tahiti lime. Finally, our Contemporáneo is a sophisticated blend of chamomile, rosebuds, cucumber, banana, ginger, and lemon peel. Each of these options is worth enjoying on its own or with an appetizer from our restaurant’s innovative food menu.
CG Classics vs. The Classics
Not everyone is a fan of mixology. Some folks just want to enjoy their time-proven staples. We refer to these as The Classics. They include your standard offering of martinis, Manhattans, cosmopolitans, and more. Not to worry, our bartending team is well-versed in each of these and will adapt their preparation to your taste!
Now, keep in mind that Casa Gangotena has been serving up delicious alcoholic beverages and cocktails for a good long time; long enough to have developed a quality reputation for their own staples—what we call the CG Classics. These include our interpretations of favorites, such as the Smoked Old Fashioned, Chilcano (which features aged multivariate pisco made from goldenberries, raspberries, Persian lime, yuzu, currant, sunflower, and ginger ale), our Aperol Spritz, a pair of unique Negronis (Smoked or Infused), as well as Our Mojito, which takes pineapple-infused rum and blends it perfectly with lime, spearmint leaves, simple syrup, and sparkling water.
Of course, we have to talk about a universal favorite—a true classic, if you will—because, what’s a delicious weekend brunch without a fantastic mimosa? Casa Gangotena has three variations to offer you: our House Mimosa, which combines cava with a tangerine-infused agua fresca; our Royal Gala Mimosa, which, like the name, blends cava with gala apple purée; and our Punch Mimosa, which pairs cava with celery, melon, and pineapple syrup!
Juices and Lemonades
Our beverage selection also includes juices and specialty lemonades, like our Hibiscus & Coconut Lemonade, our Tangerine & Lemongrass Lemonade, in addition to iced Andean herbal tea, seasonal fruit juices (keep in mind that Ecuador is a nation with very rich soil and an abundance of delicious fruits that are almost always in season), and something you may or may not have tasted before: Cocoa Mucilage, an incredibly delicious byproduct of the fermentation process of one of Ecuador’s most important exports, cocoa beans!
The excitement that awaits your palate—no matter your beverage preferences—is palpable! When you visit Casa Gangotena’s Restaurant and Bar in the heart of Quito’s Old Town, be prepared for an experience like no other in the Capital. Elegance resonates throughout, not just in the stately dining room or retro-sleek bar but in each drop of our unforgettable libations you’ll be sure to enjoy!
For aficionados of fine cocktails, we always recommend designating a driver before venturing to any bar. Thankfully, Quito has a wealth of transportation options: taxi, Uber, and Cabify are readily available. Also, keep in mind that Casa Gangotena is a hotel and often can accommodate last-minute reservations of rooms. Be sure to drink responsibly and you’ll enjoy the experience all the more!
Location and Hours
As always, should you elect to drive to Casa Gangotena, the concierge will be more than happy to assist you with information about where to park. The hotel also has a very convenient Valet Parking service that allows guests to enjoy their time without worrying about parking.
Here is a map of Casa Gangotena’s location, in addition to some coordinates you can input into your navigation app of choice.
Casa Gangotena’s Bar is open daily beginning around lunchtime and extending late into the evening hours. If you’re worried about space or would like to guarantee a sitting area for you and your party, or maybe even reserve a table for dinner and drinks, you can reach out to our team and reserve your spot by clicking on the link below.