Things just got a whole lot fresher at Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery. Thanks to a new collaboration with Indy Urban Acres, a project of the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, the Fletcher Place–based tasting room now has a direct line to locally grown produce for its “farm-to-glass” cocktails via Hotel Tango Farms.
If you’ve recently driven north on I-65 from the south side toward downtown, the Hotel Tango barn signage at the Keystone exit is hard to miss. At first glance, the Rural Street site seems to be an unexpected location for a venture like this, but that’s exactly the point. The sustainable growing operation is reviving this five-acre urban plot by using it to cultivate herbs and vegetables for Hotel Tango’s craft cocktail recipes. Indy Urban Acres also grows flowers here for retail sale to support its mission to empower and educate people through access to free high-quality produce.
“We started talks about the partnership last year, but it really didn’t get going until this spring,” says Travis Barnes, Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery founder and CEO. “It got more real the closer we got to planting, but we knew it’d be a natural fit since both Hotel Tango and Indy Urban Acres share the same passion and dedication to the Indy community. Once the seeds were in the ground, it was pretty amazing to watch Mother Nature take over.”
With summer winding down, the sunflowers, basil, tomatoes and peppers are lushly abundant, and currently making appearances at the distillery by way of jalapeño-laced Aloh-Zas, cucumber-y Honey Don’t Honeydews and made-by-request Farm Gimlets garnished with cherry tomatoes. Look for a new batch of equally creative concoctions using pumpkin and other seasonal ingredients when the fall menu unveils.
Updates to a 100-year-old barn on site aim to create storage space for barrels, and the Hotel Tango Farmhouse AirBnb lets curious visitors overnight right on the property (expect some traffic noise from the I-65 corridor running alongside the spread). Plans are also in the works for another outbuilding to be used for events down the road.
“Eventually, we’d like to see Hotel Tango Farms become an urban refuge and educational experience where people can enjoy this hidden gem and learn more about us as an artisan spirits brand,” Barnes said.
Hotel Tango Farms: 3615 S. Rural St.