A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg
Mary Valdez has taken the helm of the renowned bar program at Outpost at the Goodland, bringing a host of fun and creative new items to the already stellar menu.
We checked out the first in what will be a series of seasonal beverage menus last week, leaving ourselves in Valdez’s very capable hands. First up was her personal favorite, In Full Bloom, a refreshing and playful cocktail featuring Hendricks Gin, fresh lemon, orgeat, prickly pear shrub, angostura bitters and tonic. We also liked The Day Drinker, made with Ketel One Vodka, St. Germain, fresh watermelon and a housemade citrus cordial. The classic Beefeater Gin, luxardo maraschino, lemon and creme de violet—was complex yet balanced. We also enjoyed the Maria Maria, made with Del Maguey Vida, jalapeno infused agave, citrus cordial, mint and ginger beer.
Agave is Valdez’s preferred spirit of the moment, but house shrubs, syrups and fresh produce also play important roles in each drink.
Other seasonal standouts include the Rhubarbarian, a refreshingly spicy and citrus forward sipper with El Jimador blanco, Cointreau, togerashi, rhubarb syrup, lime and rhubarb bitters, and the herbaceous and tart Live Long and Prosper, which mixes rosemary infused Tito’s, blackberry-lime cordial and Aperol. The summer menu (which will last through September, says Valdez) includes the Easy Like a Sunday Morning, which mixes Espolon reposado, Aperol, ancho chile, and their Goodland Special, a grapefruit IPA which was brewed for them in collaboration with M Special.
Valdez has a decade of bartending experience under her belt, working behind bars on both coasts, and spending the last few years at Outpost where she was part of the opening team. Her cocktail preparation style is balanced but surprising, adding something unexpected into every creation.
Outpost at the Goodland Hotel is located 5650 Calle Real, Goleta, www.outpostsb.com.
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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.”