Raise a Glass to Santa Barbara’s Cocktail Culture
Santa Barbara may be best known for its wines and craft beers when it comes to local libations, but The American Riviera® has also cultivated a serious cocktail culture. Thanks to the abundance of locally grown produce and herbs, easy access to artisanal spirits and specialty ingredients and a creative force of masterful mixologists, Santa Barbara’s bars and restaurants are always serving up innovative and delicious seasonal sips.
Taste pure local spirits at the Funk Zone-based distillery, Cutler’s Artisan Spirits. Ride the wave of the tiki trend at the new Test Pilot bar by the minds behind The Good Lion, an established State Street speakeasy well known for shaking up superior cocktails. Get experimental and try the “beer cocktail” concoctions at Figueroa Mountain Brewery’s taprooms. Or splurge on “The Warner Margarita,” which comes with the decadent price tag of $160, at the luxurious San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito. This is just a sampling of what palate-pleasing, cocktail-centric discoveries are on the menu in Santa Barbara.
In the spirit of further elevating Santa Barbara’s cocktail culture, Visit Santa Barbara joined forces with Santa Barbara’s leading news, arts and entertainment source, the Santa Barbara Independent, to designate an official signature Santa Barbara mixed drink that celebrates the distinctive attributes of The American Riviera®. “The Official Drink of Santa Barbara” cocktail competition calls upon local restaurants, bars and lounges to craft their libation interpretation of Santa Barbara’s one-of-a-kind sense of place. Contestants are encouraged to use local ingredients and take inspiration from Santa Barbara’s dramatic landscapes, architectural landmarks and abundant culinary riches. After the official signature drink of Santa Barbara is declared, the winning drink will be available for public consumption at the winner’s place of business throughout 2018.
The live competition will be held on Thursday, Jan. 25 at El Paseo Restaurant from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Five finalists will battle for the title of “2018 Official Drink of Santa Barbara”. Sample the finalists’ submissions, watch masterful mixology in action and be the first to learn which cocktail is crowned the winner. Ticket information coming soon. Cheers!