Cocktail Corner: MOM-osas for Mother’s Day!

Photo vxla on Flickr: Pool-side Mimosas at The Standard Hotel, CC BY 2.0, courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

Photo vxla on Flickr: Pool-side Mimosas at The Standard Hotel, CC BY 2.0, courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

It’s Mother’s Day weekend, which is the perfect time to indulge in Mimosas. According to new research from Versus Reviews, Mimosas are actually the most popular cocktail in California, as well as in Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland. It must be a coastal thing!

Traditional Mimosas are believed to have been invented at the Hotel Ritz Paris around 1925, and are probably named for their resemblance to the yellow flowers with the same name. They’re made with one part Champagne and one part orange juice and served in a Champagne flute, often at brunch.

Image and data source: Versus Reviews.

Image and data source: Versus Reviews.

Image and data source: Versus Reviews.

Image and data source: Versus Reviews.

While traditional Mimosas are great, there are load of variations. Here are a few favorites, which we’ll call MOM-osas in honor of this weekend:

The Buck’s Fizz, which has twice as much Champagne as orange juice!  

Daphne Oz‘s “Perfect Momosa Recipe” from The Chew, which adds elderflower liquor to the mix and substitutes Prosecco or another sparkling wine for the Champagne.

The Poinsettia switches the orange juice for cranberry juice, mixed with Champagne.

DrinkoftheWeek.com’s tasty MOMosa variation skips the OJ and mixes Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur and passion fruit juice with Champagne.

The Megmosa is equal parts Champagne and grapefruit juice, while pineapple juice and Champagne is called a Soleil.

Summer Mimosa, likely a Soilel variation, photo by waros, pixabay.com.

Summer Mimosa, likely a Soilel variation, photo by waros, pixabay.com.

Our friends at Seagram’s Escapes also have a fun “Momosa” recipe, which uses sparkling wine and their Wild Berry flavored drink.

Whatever you toast your mom with this weekend, make it a good one! Cheers!  Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie believes variety is the spice of life. Send your suggestions to Leslie@sbseasons.com.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on May 11, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Santa Barbara Wine Country’s Vintners Festival

Courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Country’s Vintners Festival.

Courtesy Santa Barbara Wine Country’s Vintners Festival.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

This weekend is the 36th Anniversary of Santa Barbara Wine Country’s Vintners Festival on Saturday, April 21, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the beautiful River Park in Lompoc (CA-246 & Sweeney Rd., Lompoc).

The festival is a wonderful opportunity to taste a prestigious list of wines from more than 100 local wineries and savor delicious bites from a bevy of local foragers, farmers, and restaurants. In addition to the beautiful setting, there’s also live music and culinary demos throughout the day, as well as Bubba, the prized Parker Ranch bull of The Bear and Star, the excellent Los Olivos restaurant specializing in “refined ranch cuisine” that is intrinsically intertwined with the 714-acre Fess Parker Home Ranch.

Festival attendees will have the opportunity to meet Bubba and learn how the team at The Bear and Star and its celebrated Chef John Cox sources farm to table from their own ranch, including fresh produce, wagyu beef, chicken, rabbit, and duck. Alongside that, The Bear and Star will get your mouth watering with their 30’ smoker where they will showcase Smoked Wagyu Beef Albondigas with Guajillo Chile and Queso Fresco.

Bubba is the prized Parker Ranch bull of The Bear and Star, a Los Olivos restaurant offering a “refined ranch cuisine” that is intrinsically intertwined with the 714 acre Fess Parker Home Ranch. Courtesy photo.

Bubba is the prized Parker Ranch bull of The Bear and Star, a Los Olivos restaurant offering a “refined ranch cuisine” that is intrinsically intertwined with the 714 acre Fess Parker Home Ranch. Courtesy photo.

Additional food purveyors include:


555 Bar and Lounge “By Marriott”
Bara’s Fresh Almond Pate
Biker Spice
Black Bow Sweets
Bottlest Winery, Bar & Bistro
Brasserie Solera
California Coast Naturals
Cattaneo Brothers
Cecco Ristorante
Central Coast Specialty Foods
Frankland’s Crab & Co.
Heritage Fine Meats & Sausage
Hippy Pop
Hitching Post II
il Fustino
Imlakesh Organics
Industrial Eats & New West Catering
Jessica Foster Confections
Le Sorelle Imports
Leonardo’s Cucina Italiana
Lori’s Lemonade
Los Olivos Olive Oil and Olive House
LunaOlivo
Mesa Salsa Company
Quality Time Dinner
Santa Barbara Popcorn Co.
Santa Rita Organic Farm
SB Paella Catering
Scratch Kitchen & Bar
Solvang Olive Press
Succulent Café
Suro Cha Inc
Three Flies On A Knife
Valle Eatery
Valley Grind Coffee
Winfield Farm

Some of the tasty bites available at the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival. Courtesy photos.

Some of the tasty bites available at the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival. Courtesy photos.

Participating wineries include:

Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards
Ampelos cellars
​Au Bon Climat
Babcock Winer & Vineyards
Baehner Fournier
Bernat Winery
Bien Nacido & Solomon HIlls
Brander Vineyard
​Brewer-Clifton
Bottlest
Brick Barn Wine Estate 
​Bridlewood Estate Winery
Brophy Clark Cellars
Buttonwood Farm Winery
Ca’ Del Grevino Estate and Winery
Carr Winery
Casa Dumetz
Clos Pepe Estate
Cambria Winery
Chamisal Vineyards
Cnagy wines
Coquelicot Estate Wines
CrossHatch Winery
Dierberg & Star Lane Vineyards
Dragonette Cellars
Ferguson Crest
Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard
Fiddlehead Cellars
Flying Goat Cellars
FOXEN and foxen 7200
Gainey Vineyard
Grace & Vine
Grassini Family Vineyards
​Hilliard Bruce
Hitching Post Wines
Imagine Wine
Jaffurs Wine Cellars
Jamie Slone Wines
J. Wilkes
Kaena Wine Company
Ken Brown Wines
Lafond
Lieu Dit Winery
Lions Peak Vineyards
Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards
Lumen Wines
Malene Wines
Margerum Wine Company
Martian Ranch & Vineyard
Melville Winery
Montemar Wines
Municipal Winemakers
Nielson
​Pence Vineyards & Winery
Presqu’ile
​Qupé Wine Cellars
Rancho Sisquoc
Refugio Ranch Vineyards
Riverbench
Roblar Winery
Rusack Vineyards
​Samsara
​Sanford Winery & Vineyards
Santa Barbara Winery
Spear
Stolpman Vineyards
Sweetzer Cellars
Temperance Cellars
​The Central Coast Group Project
Toccata wines
Toretti Family Vineyard 
Tyler Winery
Zaca Mesa Winery

This year’s festival also includes the Bubble Lounge, a unique and playful opportunity to enjoy a bubble machine and DIY bubble bottles! Sip on world-class bubbles while you blow some bubbles into the wind to melt your cares away. The line-up includes:

Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards
Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard
Flying Goat Cellars
Imagine Wine
Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards
Municipal Winemakers
Pence Vineyards & Winery
Riverbench Winery
Sanford Winery & Vineyards

The Rent Party Blues, one of the top blues bands in California, performs alongside another local favorite, The Bryan Titus Trio.

Can’t get enough of Santa Barbara County wines? This weekend you can also visit up to 12 tasting rooms on an all-inclusive wine tasting pass with a Vintners Visa Wine Country Tasting Pass  for unique and complimentary offerings at your choice of twelve participating tasting rooms from Thursday – Monday.  Over 40+ wineries and tasting rooms are participating in this program. An opportunity that is truly unsurpassable.

Need a bit more incentive? The Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation also has a silent auction that benefits the Enology/viticulture program at Allan Hancock College (hancockcollege.edu ) as well as DirectRelief.org  and its medical relief activities at home and around the globe. Local vintners are digging deep into their cellars as well as creating unique private events to compile an unprecedented offering of auction lots for this year’s Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Silent Auction. Only Vintners Festival Grand Tasting attendees will have access to the array of unique wine lots including over two dozen impressive large format bottles such as a double magnum of Brewer Clifton Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills and a 5 Liter bottle of Qupe 2013 Syrah, Bien Nacido Vineyard “Hillside” Estate.  Among the one-of-a-kind collections will be a 6 bottle sampler displayed in an engraved wooden box from Kenneth Volk Vineyards. Bidders will also be able to access private events including a private tour and tasting for 4 at Presqu’ile Winery’s beautiful hilltop winery overlooking the Santa Maria Valley and a private vineyard tour, tasting and lunch for 4 at Martian Ranch & Vineyard. Proceeds from the silent auction will provide scholarships for two Allan Hancock Enology/viticulture students as well as a grant to the Enology/viticulture department.

“In addition, this year we are working to raise money to support Direct Relief in the replenishment of their First Responder Backpacks. Participants will have an opportunity to donate directly towards the items to fill these kits, many of which were used during Direct Relief’s response to the Thomas fire and Montecito mudslide in recent months. Visiting the Silent Auction pavilion is a great way to get your hands on some great wines as well as support the community,” says Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation President, Elaina Kroll. 

For more information about the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation, go to sbvf.org.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sbvintnersweekend.com.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie believes variety is the spice of life. Send your suggestions to Leslie@sbseasons.com.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on April 19, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: The Compendium of Alcohol Ingredients and Processes

Photo by Isabella Mendes, courtesy Pexels.com.

Photo by Isabella Mendes, courtesy Pexels.com.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

Have you ever wondered about the origins of what’s in your glass?

Here’s a fun infographic from winebags.com, The Compendium of Alcohol Ingredients and Processes, which provides an overview of how alcohol is made around the world.

Some fun facts: Mead, a favorite beverage of the Renaissance Faire crowd, actually originated in China, and beer has its origins in Egypt. The Swiss created absinthe, which has 60% alcohol content and is known for causing hallucinations.

 

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie believes variety is the spice of life. Send your suggestions to Leslie@sbseasons.com.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on April 13, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Visiting Spear Vineyards & Winery

Spear Winery & Vineyard view from the vineyard, photo by Blakeney Sanford.

Spear Winery & Vineyard view from the vineyard, photo by Blakeney Sanford.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

Created within the footprint and roofline of the original Domingos Dairy Barn built in the 1920’s, stepping into Spear Vineyards & Winery‘s brand new winery and hospitality center feels like you’re stepping back into the history of the property and the soil itself. 

Spear Winery Owner & Vigneron Ofer Shepher at harvest time, photo by Bottle Branding.

Spear Winery Owner & Vigneron Ofer Shepher at harvest time, photo by Bottle Branding.

Last week’s vineyard tour and tasting and was quite a treat. Guided by Vigneron Ofer Shepher, who first planted his Spear Vineyards vines in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation 2014, with 33 organically farmed acres along the Hwy. 246 corridor, the property—which overlooks Buellton and Lompoc, and is about 1,000 acres in total, mostly inhabited by Black Angus Cattle and cows—is nothing short of stunning.

Weekend camping trips to the Santa Ynez Valley first sparked Shepher’s keen interest in wine and winemaking and propelled his 2005 move and eventual lease of the historic Gnesa Ranch next door to the Spear property. 

Spear Winery's Vineyard view, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Spear Winery’s Vineyard view, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

He minored in agricultural mechanics in college, and despite a long career in the medical device industry, he’s always remained interested in agriculture. Shepher says that he spent childhood summers in Israel, working on the kibbutz his mother grew up on and learning about farming.  

Gnesa Ranch sold grapes exclusively to Brewer-Clifton Wines, until 2014. When it came time to develop Spear, Shepher hired the renowned Greg Brewer as consulting winemaker and they worked closely together to plant the vineyards and design the wine production facility, a gravity-based system devised to minimize damage to the fruit.

Spear Winery Winemaker Kat Gaffney, courtesy photo.

Spear Winery Winemaker Kat Gaffney, courtesy photo.

Mentored by Brewer, who hired her as Associate Winemaker, Kathleen “Kat” Gaffney was promoted to Winemaker in January after spending the last several years working at notable California wineries between harvests in Oregon and New Zealand.

Dedicated to sustainability, the winery’s in-house farmed, viticulture practices don’t use inorganic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Both Gaffney and Shepher say the goal at Spear is to let the grapes and vineyard shine, making wine that is a true reflection of the place those grapes come from.

Spear Winery & Vineyard at sunrise, photo by Blakeney Sanford.

Spear Winery & Vineyard at sunrise, photo by Blakeney Sanford.

Spear—which is the Americanized version of “Shepher”—released its debut vintage in the fall and currently produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. The 2016 Spear Estate Chardonnay is a perfect ode to spring. With 15 acres planted to Pinot Noir, the winery’s first vintage, the 2016 Spear Estate Pinot Noir is a lovely expression of the famed Sta. Rita Hills appellation. We also enjoyed the classic cool climate 2016 Spear Estate Syrah. 

Grüner Veltliner (an ode to Shepher’s German ancestry) and Grenache Noir are also planted, so look for those wines sometime in the future as well.

Inside Spear Winery, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Inside Spear Winery, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Vineyard tours and tastings at Spear are offered by appointment only, to truly offer a unique soil to glass experience.  “We want to offer a real vineyard tasting experience,” says Shepher. Vineyard tastings and winery visits are available daily, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., by appointment only.  To make a reservation, call 805/737-1829, email visit@spearwinery.com or book online with this link.

In addition, Spear is now offering a limited number of wine club memberships. For more information, click here.

Wine barrel inside Spear Winery, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Wine barrel inside Spear Winery, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Spear Winery, back view, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Spear Winery, back view, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Spear Winery & Vineyard view from the driveway, photo by Blakeney Sanford.

Spear Winery & Vineyard view from the driveway, photo by Blakeney Sanford.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie believes variety is the spice of life. Send your suggestions to Leslie@sbseasons.com.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on April 6, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Adult Easter Fun With Seasonal Jello Shots

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

When it comes to Easter celebrations, why should the kids have all the fun? Our friends at Seagram’s Escapes have provided some alcohol-infused jello recipes that will sure to enliven the egg hunt on Sunday.

Jamaican Me Happy Watermelon Slice Jello Shooters, courtesy Seagrams.

Jamaican Me Happy Watermelon Slice Jello Shooters, courtesy Seagrams.

 

Jamaican Me Happy Watermelon Slice Shooters: Impress guests and make memories with these adorable and delicious adult treats that look just like fresh watermelon wedges! 

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes + 6 hours chilling time

Makes: 40 pieces 

2 bottles (11.2 fl. oz. each)  Seagram’s Escapes Jamaican Me Happy

10  limes

2 pkg (3 oz each)  watermelon gelatin dessert crystals 

1 tsp black sesame seeds (optional) 

1. Scrub limes and cut in half crosswise. Use a paring knife to loosen flesh from skin. Scoop out flesh, scraping with a spoon to reveal clean white pith. Place each hollowed-out lime half in cup of a muffin tin.

2. Place gelatin dessert crystals in medium heatproof bowl. Pour 2/3 cup boiling water over crystals; stir for 2 minutes or until dissolved. Stir in Seagram’s Escapes Jamaican Me Happy. Divide mixture evenly among lime halves. Chill for 6 hours or until set.

3. Use a sharp knife to cut each lime in half. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds, if using. (Can be made up to 1 day in advance. Store covered in refrigerator.)

Tip: If you like, juice the halved limes before scraping out membranes. Use lime juice in meat marinades, salad dressings, lime curd or ice pops.

Strawberry Daiquiri Jello Shooters, courtesy Seagrams.

Strawberry Daiquiri Jello Shooters, courtesy Seagrams.

Strawberry Daiquiri Jelly Shooters: Be the life of the party and pass around these fun adult shooters served in hollowed-out fresh strawberries. 

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes 

Total time: 25 minutes + 4 hours refrigeration

Makes: 50 pieces 

1 bottle (11.2 fl. oz.) Seagram’s Escapes Strawberry Daiquiri

50 large strawberries, hulled (about 3 lb)

1 pkg (3 oz) strawberry gelatin dessert crystals 

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup sugar

2 limes, thinly sliced

1. Cut small slice off the tip of each strawberry so it sits flat. Use melon baller to hollow out each strawberry from hull end. Set aside. 

2. Place gelatin dessert crystals in medium heatproof bowl. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over crystals; stir for 2 minutes or until dissolved. Stir in Seagram’s Escapes Strawberry Daiquiri and lime juice. Divide mixture evenly among strawberries. Chill for 4 hours or until set. (Can be made to this point up to 1 day in advance. Store covered in refrigerator.) 

3. Just before serving, place sugar in small shallow dish. Roll the top of each strawberry in the sugar to resemble a rimmed glass. Cut lime slices into wedges. Garnish each strawberry with a lime wedge.

Tip: To fill hollowed-out strawberries without making a mess, transfer liquid strawberry mixture to a squeeze bottle or use a clean turkey baster.

Calypso Cream Jello Cubes, courtesy Seagram's.

Calypso Cream Jello Cubes, courtesy Seagram’s.

Layered Calypso Colada Cream Jelly Cubes: Feel like you’re in the islands anytime with these jelly shots made with a cool and creamy coconut base, topped with a clear blue layer of Seagram’s Escapes Calypso Colada, as breathtaking as the ocean. 

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes + 10 hours chilling time

Makes: 24 squares 

2 bottles (11.2 fl. oz. each) Seagram’s Escapes Calypso Colada

2 tbsp sugar

1 envelope (7 g) unflavored gelatin

1 can (14 oz) coconut milk

3 pkg (3 oz each) berry blue gelatin dessert crystals 

2 tbsp coarse sugar

2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

24 fresh blackberries 

1. Combine sugar and gelatin in small heatproof bowl. Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over mixture; stir constantly until granules are completely dissolved. Stir in coconut milk until well combined. Pour into 8 inch square cake pan. Chill for 4 hours or until set. 

2. Place gelatin dessert crystals in medium heatproof bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over crystals; stir for 2 minutes or until dissolved. Stir in Seagram’s Escapes Calypso Colada. Let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Slowly pour blue mixture over set coconut mixture. Chill for 4 to 6 hours or until firm. Run a thin knife around the inside of cake pan to separate jelly from sides. Carefully invert onto parchment paper; tap pan gently to release jelly. Use a large sharp knife to cut into 24 cubes. Invert cubes onto serving platter. (Can be made to this point up to 1 day in advance. Store covered in refrigerator.)

4. Just before serving, stir together coarse sugar and coconut; sprinkle over cubes and top each with a blackberry.

Strawberry Guava Jello Shots, courtesy Seagram's.

Strawberry Guava Jello Shots, courtesy Seagram’s.

Strawberry Guava Jelly Shots: Add an element of class and sophistication with these decorative jellies that are bursting with vibrant tropical flavors, and look as beautiful as they are delicious. 

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes + 6 hours refrigeration

Makes: 18 pieces 

2 bottles (11.2 fl. oz. each) Seagram’s Escapes Jamaican Me Happy

3 envelopes (7 g each) unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup guava juice

12 strawberries 

1. Pour 1/2 cup cold water into medium heatproof bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup boiling water; stir until dissolved. 

2. Stir in Seagram’s Escapes Jamaican Me Happy and guava juice. Place bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water. Let stand for 25 to 30 minutes or until mixture begins to set.

3. Dice strawberries. Place in 18 decorative 1 oz molds. Divide jelly evenly among molds. Chill for at least 6 hours or until set. (Can be made up to 1 day in advance.)

4. Dip molds into warm water for 5 seconds. Invert jelly shots onto serving platter, gently shaking to release. 

Tips: Decorative molds can be purchased from specialty baking and cooking equipment shops and online retailers. Substitute Seagram’s Escapes Peach Fuzzy Navel for a delicious twist. 

Cheers to an enjoyable holiday! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie believes variety is the spice of life. Send your suggestions to Leslie@sbseasons.com. 

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 27, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Spyglass Bistro & Bar

Courtesy Spyglass Bistro & Bar.

Courtesy Spyglass Bistro & Bar.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

It’s always fun to find great cocktail spots in unexpected places and Spyglass Bistro & Bar definitely fits the bill.  This modern rooftop bistro bar offers lunch, craft cocktails and small bites, with a breathtaking panoramic view of Goleta, Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Surprisingly, this unexpectedly hip gem sits atop the new Hilton Garden Inn, right in the heart of Costco, Best Buy, Home Depot, etc.

Spyglass Bistro & Bar cocktail. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

The Spyglass Martini at Spyglass Bistro & Bar. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Featuring creative shared plates from Executive Chef Michael Blackwell (formerly of the Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch and Montecito Country Club) to be enjoyed in cozy fireplace groupings under the stars, this is a lovely spot to enjoy right now and even lovelier once it gets a little warmer.

The cocktail menu includes the Spyglass Martini, made with absolut elyx—a premium, copper crafted vodka—and goat cheese stuffed castelvetrano olives (yum!), and it comes it a very cool copper martini glass, something I’ve never seen before. Like a Moscow Mule, the cool cup is part of the fun of this drink, and it doesn’t disappoint!

Spyglass Bistro & Bar cocktail. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Pinas Y Pinas cocktail at Spyglass Bistro & Bar. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Local favorite Cutler’s Vodka is featured on the cocktail menu and in the High Solstice, made with Cutler’s Vodka  and pedro ximenez sherry, briottet peche de vigne, lemon and angostura bitters. I also liked the Jalisco Sunshine, made with olmeca altos tequila plata, grapefruit, line, agave and cilantro; the Whiskey Blues, made with Redemption rye, lemon, blueberry, honey and laphroaig spritz; and something called the Passion Flower, with cyrano armagnac, st. germain, lime, passionfruit, agave and pico sea salt.

Spyglass has a daily happy hour from 4-6 p.m. which includes $2 off specialty cocktails and beers, as well as discount “samplers” which are $15 and include wine or a cocktail and your choice of sliders, fish tacos or pork wing confit (which is delicious).

The view of Spyglass Bar & Bistro, photo by Dan Levin.

The view from Spyglass Bar & Bistro, photo by Dan Levin.

The restaurant is located at 6878 Hollister Ave., on the rooftop of the Hilton Garden Inn in Goleta. Live music is often scheduled on weekends. Check their Facebook Page for updates. For example, coming up soon they have a fun St. Patrick’s Day party scheduled from 2-10 p.m. on March 17. 

Spyglass Bistro & Bar cocktail. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Spyglass Bistro & Bar Jaliscso Sunshine cocktail. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

We’ll be back soon, and hope to see you there. Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Courtesy Spyglass Bistro & Bar.

Courtesy Spyglass Bistro & Bar.

Spyglass Bistro & Bar. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Spyglass Bistro & Bar. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

 

Spyglass Bistro & Bar cocktail. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Spyglass Bistro & Bar Whiskey Blues cocktail. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

 

Spyglass Bistro & Bar. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Spyglass Bistro & Bar. Photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 9, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Happy Anniversary to Firestone Walker Barrelworks Wild Ales

Courtesy Firestone Walker.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

It’s sure to be a wild party this weekend when Firestone Walker’s Wild Ale Facility in Buellton marks its fifth anniversary with a Feral One” release party on Saturday, March 3.

Time flies when you’re behaving wildly. “It seems like just yesterday that we made this big bet on what had long been a pet project,” says Jeffers Richardson, director of Barrelworks. “In the five years since opening Barrelworks, we’ve really grown into our home and taken our wild ale machinations to an entirely new level.”

The five year milestone is being marked by a party that features the release of Feral One Batch #5. Feral One Batch #1 was Barrelworks’ inaugural bottled beer release. They describe Batch #5 as “an unruly blend of six vintage base beers that were reclaimed from the barrel stacks and artfully combined to create a mouthwatering marvel.”

Courtesy Firestone Walker.

Courtesy Firestone Walker.

Barrelworks was established in 2013 after Firestone Walker’s wild ale program outgrew the main brewery in Paso Robles. It has since become known as a “cathedral of barrels” that produces an acclaimed variety of sour beers and hybrid ales under the watchful eyes of Richardson and Master Blender Jim Crooks.

The festivities take place from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 at Firestone Walker Barrelworks (620 McMurray Rd., Buellton). Tickets include pre-purchased bottles of Feral One Batch #5; a “pig plate” to build your own tacos or sliders (pig roasted on site); live music by The Ragged Jubilee; tastings of rare wild ales and barrel-aged beers; plus light bites while supplies last and a one-time 25% savings card good for merchandise and beer purchases (with exception of Feral One) that day.

Ticket Options:

  • $75 – includes three (3) bottles of Feral One & food plate
  • $125 – includes six (6) bottles of Feral One & food plate
  • $225 includes – 12 bottles of Feral One & food plate

    Courtesy Firestone Walker.

    Courtesy Firestone Walker.

For more details and to purchase tickets for event, click here. Check out Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine‘s spring 2017 story, “Where the Wild Brews Are,” here.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 2, 2018.

Web Exclusive: Rock N Roll Tequila Recipes

Photo courtesy Rock N Roll Tequila.

Photo courtesy Rock N Roll Tequila.

Read our interview with Rock N Roll Tequila founder and Santa Barbara local Andy Herbst in the spring issue of Santa Barbara Seasons.

Meanwhile here are some of Herbst’s favorite ways to imbibe.

ROCK ‘N’ RITA (Rock N Roll Platinum Tequila)

Forget the sugar, sugar. This Rita gets her sweetness straight from tequila’s agave heart.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lime slices or wedges
  • 2 oz. Platinum Tequila
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup (nectar)
  • 2 oz. cup fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS: Rub 1 lime slice over half the rim of an Old Fashioned glass (if you prefer your Margarita on the rocks) or a coupe glass (if you prefer it up). Combine tequila, agave syrup, and juice in a cocktail shaker; fill with ice and shake well. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with second lime slice.

AMPED MOJITO (Rock N Roll Platinum Cristalino)

Are you ready to party? This refreshing twist of a beauty will help get you there.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 oz. Cristalino Tequila
  • Big handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 ½ limes, quartered
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • Soda water
  • Sprigs of mint for garnish

DIRECTIONS: Place ice cubes, mint leaves, tequila and simple syrup in the blender or cocktail shaker. Squeeze in the juice from the limes and divide the limes between each glass. Blend or shake until well combines. Divide between the glasses and top with soda water and sprigs of mint.

Go Man Go (Rock N Roll Mango Tequila)

One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready…

INGREDIENTS

  • 5oz. Mango Tequila

DIRECTIONS: Serve loud and chilled

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 1, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Academy Award Winning Cocktails

The Swamp Fizz cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film "The Shape of Water," recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

The Swamp Fizz cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film “The Shape of Water,” recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

With Oscar’s big night coming up soon (March 4), Cocktail Chameleon author and entertainment expert Mark Addison has created a slate of lovely libations that are perfect to serve at your Academy Awards viewing party next weekend. The book—which takes a dozen classic cocktails and creates a dozen different variations for each one of them—was recently named the “Best in the U.S.” by the Gourmand Cookbook Awards and chosen one of the top six in the world to compete for the global title in  May 2018.

No matter what your favorite film of the year was, here’s a celebratory recipe just for you.

And the nominees are:

  • Darkest Hour: The Churchill
  • Call Me By Your Name Apricot Negroni Spritzer
  • The Shape of Water: Swamp Fizz
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Three Cocktails from Inside Missouri
    • Missouri Mule
    • Missouri Manhattan (aka Moonshine Manhattan)
    • Missouri Martini
  • Dunkirk: Dunkirk Toddy
  • Phantom Thread: Dark Love
  • The Post: Black & White and Read All Over
  • Get Out: The Sunken Place
  • Lady Bird: Kiwi Punch (aka Flightless Bird)

The Churchill Champagne Cocktail is a variation of a Manhattan-style cocktail created for Winston Churchill in the 1940’s at the Savoy hotel in London. This version features his beloved Scotch whisky and champagne, which he reportedly drank most every day from noon to night.

The Churchill Cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film "The Darkest Hour," recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

The Churchill Cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film “The Darkest Hour,” recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Film: Darkest Hour

The Churchill

(variation on the Champagne Cocktail)

1 oz. Scotch whisky (Churchill preferred Johnnie Walker)

1/2 oz. lime juice

1/2 oz. sweet vermouth

1/2 oz. Cointreau

2 oz. champagne

Garnish: lemon peel

Glassware: 8 oz. Tiffany & Co. Vintage Coupe Glass (7” h)

Shake ingredients together with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe and top with chilled champagne. Garnish with the lemon peel.

Three Cocktails From Inside Missouri, inspired by Oscar nominated film "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Three Cocktails From Inside Missouri, inspired by Oscar nominated film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Film: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

“The themes in Three Billboards… are dark and horrific, which is challenging to draw inspiration from for a festive Oscar cocktail…,” says Addison, who instead chose to draw inspiration from the title and the film’s location. “Three Cocktails…” features Missouri-based spirits incorporated into classic cocktails with a distinctively Ozark ingredients and themes.

Three Cocktails from inside Missouri

Missouri Mule

1 1/2 oz. Missouri Sprits Bourbon Whiskey

3/4 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. Campari

1/2 oz. Triple Sec

Garnish: lemon wheel

Glassware: 16 oz. Christofle Highball Glass (6” h)

Combine with ice, shake and pour into a highball glass. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Missouri Manhattan

2 oz. Missouri Sprits Corn Whiskey

1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth

1/2 oz. Agave Nectar

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Garnish: maraschino cherry, one king ice cube

Glassware: 8 oz. Christofle Old Fashion (3” h)

In a mixing glass with ice, combine the ingredients and stir well. Strain over a king cube in an old fashion glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Missouri Martini

2 oz. Missouri Sprits Vodka

1/4-oz. extra dry vermouth

1/4-oz. pickle juice

1 dash of hot sauce

Garnish: dill pickle spear

Glassware: 8 oz. Christofle Martini Glass (6 1/2” h)

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain contents into chilled martini glass and garnish with pickle.

The Apricot Negroni Spritzer cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film "Call Me By Your Name," recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

The Apricot Negroni Spritzer cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film “Call Me By Your Name,” recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Film: Call me by Your Name

The iconic Italian Negroni is updated with apricot liqueur and French dry vermouth inspired the film’s Italian location, the apricot orchards surrounding family’s Italian countryside villa and the French heritage of romantic lead character, Elio. Addison notes, “No peaches were harmed in the making of this cocktail… (too soon?).”

Apricot Negroni Spritzer

1 1/4 oz. gin

1 1/4 oz.

French dry vermouth

3/4 oz. Aperol

1/4 oz. apricot liqueur

3 dashes of orange bitters

Garnish: orange peel & apricot wedge

Glassware: 16 oz. Chateau Baccarat Tumbler (3 1/2″ h)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and slowly stir to chill. Pour into a tumbler and garnish with a peach slice and a cherry.

The Swamp Fizz cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film "The Shape of Water," recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

The Swamp Fizz cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film “The Shape of Water,” recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Film: Shape of Water

Fizz cocktails were at their height of popularity in the 50’s and 60’s during which the Shape of Water is set. The Swamp Fizz combines green Crème De Menthe (also immensely popular in the era), citrus, sugar and club soda in classic fizz proportions with egg whites for added fizz and accentuates the Creatures’ favorite food, eggs!

Swamp Fizz

2 oz. gin

1 Tsp. Green Crème De Menthe

1 oz. fresh lemon juice

1 egg white

1 Tsp. Superfine Sugar

Club Soda

Garnish: lime zest

Glassware: 16 oz. Tiffany & Co. Vintage Highball Glass (5 1/2″ h)

Add gin, crème de menthe, lemon juice, sugar and egg white to your shaker with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into Collins glass over ice and top with club soda. Garnish with lime zest.

The Dunkirk Toddy cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film "Dunkirk," recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

The Dunkirk Toddy cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film “Dunkirk,” recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Film: Dunkirk

Inspired by struggle of evacuate the Allied soldiers from the beaches of France under attack by German forces, the Dunkirk Toddy blends a classic English hot beverage with French cognac and Benedictine, resulting in a Franco-British hot cocktail that any of the 300,000 soldiers rescued in the operation would appreciate.

Dunkirk Toddy

The traditional Hot Toddy recipe is made with whisky but to give the classic Toddy a French twist Addison substitutes equal parts French cognac and Benedictine Dom with its lovely warming flavors and its pronounced herbal and spicy tones.

1 oz. Benedictine Dom

1 oz. French cognac

1 dash Angostura bitters

4 cloves

1 lemon peel

1 oz. fresh lemon juice

1/2 oz. honey

Top with hot water

Garnish: one cinnamon stick

Glassware: 8 oz. Bormioli Rocco Oslo Coffee Cup (3 3/4″ h)

Fix the cloves into the wedge of lemon and put into a glass mug. Add

all the other ingredients and top with hot water. Stir gently

and serve.

Dark Love cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film "The Phantom Thread," recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Dark Love cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film “The Phantom Thread,” recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Film: Phantom Thread

Dark Love is a champagne cocktail that embodies the volatile love affair between 50’s fashion couturier and a young waitress. Parfait Amour (or Perfect Love) is a French violet liqueur, which when combined with blue curacao takes on a blackish tone. The blend of the eau de vie (water of life), Parfait amour and champagne creates a sweet rich libation that is impossible to resist… submit to this Dark Love.

Dark Love

(variation on Perfect Love from Cocktail Chameleon)

1 oz. Parfait Amour (violet liqueur)

1/2 oz. eau de vie Poire (pear brandy)

1/2 oz. blue curacao

5 oz. Champagne, chilled

Garnish: orchid flower

Glassware: 8 oz. Chateau Baccarat Flute (9 1/2″ h)

Fill the shaker with ice, then add the Parfait Amour, brandy and liqueur, shaking until well chilled.

Black White Read cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film "The Post," recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Black White Read cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film “The Post,” recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Film: The Post

“What’s black, white and red all over…? The most infamous newspaper, The Washington Post,” says Addison. Known for exposing the Watergate scandal and Pentagon Papers, the latest film The Post (and this cocktail) draw allusions to the then and current presidencies. Black, White, and Read All Over looks like an all American coffee but a white Russian lurks under the surface and is stained by a red cherry syrup.

Black & White and Read All Over

2 oz. cold-press coffee

1 oz. vodka

1 oz. coffee liqueur

1 oz. orange liqueur

1 oz. half & half
Garnish: 1/2 oz. maraschino cherry juice

Glassware: 8 oz. Libbey Irish Coffee Mug (5 3/4″ h)

Fill the shaker with ice and add the coffee, vodka and liqueurs, shaking until well chilled.  Pour into the glass and float the half & half on top by slowly pouring it over the back of the spoon followed by the cherry juice.

The Sunken Place cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film "Get Out," recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

The Sunken Place cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film “Get Out,” recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Film: Get Out

The character of Chris agrees to be hypnotized by his girlfriend’s mother to cure his smoking addiction but instead, sinks into the “sunken place” where after an operation to transplant the mind of a white man into his body, Chris would remain in the void watching powerlessly. The Sunken Place cocktail looks innocuous on the surface but has a dark underside trapped beneath.

The Sunken Place

2 oz. rum

1 oz. coconut rum

2 oz. pineapple juice

1 oz. cream of coconut

Garnish:

½ oz. blue curacao

½ oz. grenadine

Glassware: 12 oz. Mikasa Cheers Martini Glass (7 1/2″ h)

Combine rums, pineapple juice and cream of coconut in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into chilled martini glass. Combine the blue curacao and grenadine and slowly drizzle down the side of the glass. It will settle at the bottom and create a beautiful “black and white” layered look.

Kiwi Punch (aka Flightless Bird) cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film "Lady Bird," recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Kiwi Punch (aka Flightless Bird) cocktail, inspired by Oscar nominated film “Lady Bird,” recipe and photo courtesy Mark Addison.

Film: Lady Bird

The Kiwi Punch represents the struggle of Lady Bird (aka Christine) who desperately wants to fly-off to an out-of-state college but feels grounded by her over protective and critical mother. A Kiwi is a flightless bird native of New Zealand as well as a fruit also from New Zealand. Kiwifruit give this punch it’s fruity punch and is served in a soda glass making it look unassuming while packing another punch of vodka. *simply omit the vodka for a non-alcoholic version sans the punch!

Kiwi Punch (aka Flightless Bird) – Serves 8

2 cups kiwi, peeled and diced
12 mint leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
3 limes, juiced
2 cups vodka
2 cups tonic water
ice cubes
1 kiwi, thinly sliced for garnish

Garnish: Star fruit slice, mint sprigs

Glassware: 16 oz. Riedel Coca Cola Glass (6 1/2″ h)

In a pitcher, combine diced kiwis, mint leaves, sugar, and ½ lime juiced. Muddle the contents until fully combined. Fill the pitcher with ice and top off with vodka and tonic water. Stir, pour into eight tumbler glasses over ice making sure each glass receives equal amounts of kiwi and mint leaves. Garnish with a star fruit slice and mint sprig.

Addison’s mantra—which I’m a big fan of—is “It’s called entertaining for a reason; you’ve got to have fun while you do it.” So have fun … and let us know about it (or better yet, invite us)!

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 24, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Cheers to SBIFF!

A general view of atmosphere at the after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is always a fun and festive affair, and Wednesday night’s opener was no exception. Emilio Estevez‘s heartwarming and eye-opening film, The Public, was a great way to start the night.

On the red carpet to celebrate were SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling; Estevez and fellow cast members Alec Baldwin, Michael K. Williams, Jena Malone, Che Smith, Spencer Garrett and Jacob Vargas; as well as Martin Sheen (Estevez’s father), Mayor of Santa Barbara Cathy Murillo and Supervisor Joan Hartmann.

 

Emilio Estevez and Brewmaster Tim Crooks at the after party for the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Emilio Estevez and Brewmaster Tim Crooks at the after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The film was followed by a fabulous party presented by Belvedere Vodka at Paseo Nuevo.

The after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Santa Barbara will be pouring cocktails at celebrity studded events for the next week. Keep your eyes out for Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell, Gal Gadot and many more in the days to come.

Meanwhile, if you want to drink like the stars, here a few recipes, courtesy of Belvedere Vodka:

Belvedere Classic Martini, courtesy photo.

Belvedere Classic Martini, courtesy photo.

BELVEDERE CLASSIC MARTINI 

2 oz / 60ml Belvedere Vodka 

.25 oz / 7ml French Fortified Wine 

Belvedere Modern Greyhound, courtesy photo.

Belvedere Modern Greyhound, courtesy photo.

Method: Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir over ice until very cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a pink grapefruit twist.

BELVEDERE MODERN GREYHOUND 

1.5 oz / 45 ml Belvedere Vodka 

0.5 oz / 15 ml Aperol 

3 oz / 90 ml Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice 

1 oz / 30 ml Tonic Water 

Method: Combine all ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice. Roll contents and garnish with a grapefruit slice and a dash of salt.

Tickets are still available for some of the celebrity tributes. For more information, click here.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on Feb. 2, 2018.