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1 October, 2021 pasante marketing0

Now, it’s not enough to simply select Quito’s Historic Center as your wedding destination. It really is important to pick the perfect wedding-related venue, and, in the heart of the Old Town, there is one hotel that truly stands head and shoulders above any other in the city. We invite you to read all about Casa Gangotena and why it is an ideal wedding venue for you.


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17 September, 2021 José Ayerve
Reading Time: 10 minutes

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 by Casa Gangotena presents The Maize Festival cocktail
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena presents The Devil's Dance of Pillaro cocktail
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena presents the Guaranda Carnival cocktail
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena presents La Mama Negra cocktail
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena presents the Carnival of Flowers and Fruits cocktail
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena presents the Corpus Christi in Pujili cocktail
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena presents the Carnival of Flowers and Fruits cocktail

Fiesta del Maiz cocktail by Casa Gangotena
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena: Fiesta del Maíz
Diablada de Pillaro cocktail by Casa Gangotena
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena: Diablada de Píllaro
Carnaval de Guaranda cocktail by Casa Gangotena
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena: Carnaval de Guaranda
La Mama Negra cocktail by Casa Gangotena
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena: La Mama Negra
Carnaval de Flores y Frutas cocktail by Casa Gangotena
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena: Carnaval de Flores y Frutas
Corpus Christi en Pujili cocktail by Casa Gangotena
FIESTA by Casa Gangotena: Corpus Christi en Pujilí
Carnaval de Flores y Frutas cocktail by Casa Gangotena

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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.

Sangorache

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.

Alquimia

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!

Mashpi

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!

Nuestro Canelazo

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!

El Guardián

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.

Homage by Casa Gangotena presents The Ahumado
Casa Gangotena offers some of the best drinks in Quito. For instance, their Homage series features The Ahumado, a smokey and mysterious cocktail.

Ahumado

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.

Licoroso

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.

Homage by Casa Gangotena presents The Cremoso cocktail
Homage by Casa Gangotena presents The Cremoso, a straightforward and elegant cocktail.

Cremoso

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.

The Apple Strudel Margarita by Casa Gangotena
Casa Gangotena takes it to a whole new level. Presenting the Apple Strudel Margarita!

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!

The Melón y Menta Margarita
Casa Gangotena takes it to a whole new level. Presenting the Melón y Menta Margarita!

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!

Grosellas y Girasoles Botanical by Casa Gangotena
Grosellas y Girasoles: goldenberries and sunflowers shine in this delicious new botanical by Casa Gangotena.

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.

Manzanilla y Rosas Botanical by Casa Gangotena
Manzanilla y Rosas: chamomile and roses harmonize in this delightful botanical by Casa Gangotena.

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!

The non-alcoholic Contemporáneo mocktail by Casa Gangotena
The non-alcoholic Contemporáneo mocktail by Casa Gangotena.

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!

The Forest Negroni by Casa Gangotena
This classic gets a seriously delicious upgrade at Casa Gangotena!

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.

Mimosas!

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!

 

Important Note

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.

How do I get to Casa Gangotena’s Restaurant?
Though it’s fairly easy to get to Casa Gangotena from any point in Quito, here you can find directions that will help you reach our restaurant:

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.


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3 September, 2021 José Ayerve
Reading Time: 6 minutes

The best brunch you can find in Quito, Ecuador is available every Saturday and Sunday at Casa Gangotena in the city’s beautiful historic center, along the southwest corner of the popular San Francisco Plaza. This boutique hotel’s excellent restaurant welcomes visitors and locals to the finest multi-course brunch in the capital.

Just as the term brunch combines two favorite meals in one, weekend brunch at Casa Gangotena combines international and regional favorites into one fascinating gastronomic experience. For breakfast lovers and lunch fans alike, there is so much to enjoy and celebrate! Taking your time, savoring every bite and every morsel in an elegant yet impactful setting makes it even more special. So, just why is this the best brunch in Quito? Let’s break down all the reasons.

casa gangotena brunch selection
Weekend brunch at Casa Gangotena showcases elegance, variety, and classic Ecuadorian flavors and ingredients.

Multiple Courses, a Cornucopia of Flavors

Weekend brunch at Casa Gangotena is more than just a meal, it’s an event. For one reasonable price, you can experience an exciting 12-course tasting menu (accompanied by juice, coffee or tea, and an additional alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) beverage) in a one-of-a-kind setting, overlooking one of the most photographed plazas in all of Quito! 12 courses may seem overwhelming, but the portions are just the right size so you can savor every dish without feeling like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

One other thing to keep in mind is the concept of a “fixed” menu. Think of the selection of dishes as a sample collection of Casa Gangotena’s most popular breakfast and lunch dishes. Remember, our chef and their team are constant innovators, creating new variations to include and feature among the dozen courses. So, for repeat brunch-goers—and there are plenty—there are always some exciting new treats to savor.

casa gangotena serrano ham toast
The weekend brunch menu at Casa Gangotena features an assortment of elegant toasts including serrano ham! (reference image only, actual brunch may include different items)

Working with seasonal ingredients to create the most delectable dishes means carefully selecting those ingredients that are primed ready to consume. If an ingredient isn’t in season, the chef’s team focuses on one that is. And, since Ecuador has such a wealth of fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, and proteins, there is always an abundance of fresh and flavorful options!

Let’s look at some of the items you might encounter as part of weekend brunch at Casa Gangotena.

Breakfast Champions

For many people, the day really doesn’t begin until they’ve had their morning cup of coffee. For others, tea seems to get their day started off on the right foot. As part of weekend brunch at Casa Gangotena, guests are greeted with the charming aroma of Ecuadorian coffee and a lovely selection of caffeinated and decaffeinated teas and herbal infusions. Add to this a natural juice or soft drink of your choice, plus a special alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) beverage, and voila: thirst quenched!

Now, let’s talk about bread. Ecuador’s capital city is famous for having some of the most wonderful bakeries in all of South America. Ecuadorians tend to enjoy fresh bread throughout the day, but one type of bread is relatively new and fiercely devoured by fans of oven-baked goodness—brioche! Casa Gangotena does their brioche right, and you’ll get the chance to enjoy it with butter and jam, just how it should be!

Depending on the menu on offer, your eggs may be over-easy or over-medium. You may even get to taste some incredible deviled eggs!

Eggs over easy at Casa Gangtoena
Eggs feature as part of Casa Gangotena’s Weekend Brunch

Of course, this is just scratching the surface. Let’s talk about how to balance out your breakfast with a sample of some additional favorites you may encounter on the menu.

Nutritious and Delicious!

One of the items you may come across on the menu is avocado toast! Avocado trees are quite common in Ecuador. These green favorites have tremendous nutritional value and contain healthy fats and fiber. Slices and chunks of avocado are combined with chopped walnuts and served over a perfectly toasted slice of locally baked bread.

Avocado toast at Casa Gangotena
Avocado toast is just one of the elegant and delicious signature Casa Gangotena toasts.

Another really healthy dish you will likely get to taste is the ever-popular ceviche. Imagine freshly prepared shrimp or octopus bathed in a lime-based sauce with other ingredients like tomato, pepper, and cilantro, just to name a few. Newcomers to this dish may just fall in love with ceviche, as so many visitors have.

Ceviches in two different styles
Ceviches will vary on the day. They all come in different presentations, like the lime-based Octopus Ceviche (left) or the tomato-infused Shrimp Ceviche (right), pictured above.

And, how about a salad? Envision a bed of fresh greens mixed with grilled pear and brie cheese, or maybe some yogurt bites and sliced raspberries. Eating right never tasted so good!

Yogurt and Raspberry Salad center and Grilled Pear and Brie Salad top right
The Yogurt and Raspberry Salad features fresh greens tossed with sliced raspberries and yogurt bites (bottom center). Also shown, the Grilled Pear and Brie Salad (pictured top right)

It Came from the Sea!

For some, seafood may sound like an odd thing to incorporate into a brunch, but rest assured, it’s more exciting than you could possibly imagine! The international and regional inspiration behind the weekend brunch menu at Casa Gangotena offers the opportunity to explore delicious options like tuna tartare, steamed mussels, and shrimp tacos! Tuna, mussels and shrimp are all sourced from Ecuador’s rich coastline.

mussels in white wine sauce brunch item
casa gangotena weekend brunch tuna tartar
Shrimp taco with pickled shallots and cilantro
Bravo-style shrimp served over a fried plantain biscuit, with onions, tomato, and cilantro

Mussels in a white wine sauce
Tuna Tartar at Casa Gangotena
Shrimp Taco
Patacón y Camarón Bravo

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Speaking of Locally Sourced Ingredients…

For meat lovers, you may come across some of the most delicious tenderloin steak you’ve ever tasted! The cognac sauce that accompanies these delicious morsels of perfectly cooked steak is simply to die for.

Locally sourced tenderloin prepared in the chef’s special cognac sauce

And, to go with this dish, one item that is both a local favorite and a perfect complement, is the choclo (maize) with fresh farmer cheese.

Just Desserts!

No meal is complete without a little something sweet! As part of the 12-course weekend brunch menu at Casa Gangotena, you will certainly receive dessert. Some items you may come across include a coconut and raspberry fruit bar, a scrumptious apple crumble, or a popular Latin American favorite, arroz con leche. So, yeah, you may want to ask your server to top off your coffee just before you hit this final course.

Apple crumble and Arroz con Leche
Two dessert favorites: Apple Crumble and Arroz con Leche

Important Note

The images shown in this blog are examples of menu items that may or may not appear on any particular weekend. They are meant to be references and examples of the variety of ingredients and haute cuisine-inspired offerings available as part of Casa Gangotena’s weekend brunch. For more information about the 12-course brunch tasting menu, please contact one of our sales associates.

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 meals 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.

How do I get to Casa Gangotena’s Restaurant?
Though it’s fairly easy to get to Casa Gangotena from any point in Quito, here you can find directions that will help you reach our restaurant:

Weekend brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Brunch consists of a 12-course meal, plus three beverages (two soft and one alcoholic) We have a full-service bar, from which you can order any additional signature cocktails or beverages. (Keep in mind that these are extra and not included in the fixed price for brunch.)
It is a good idea to make a reservation to guarantee a table for you and your party. You can reserve your spot by clicking on the link below.


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