Cocktail Corner: Spirited New Cocktails at The Lark for Fall

The Lark Bar at Night, photo credit by Macduff Everton.

The Lark Bar at Night, photo credit by Macduff Everton.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

The talented team at The Lark, led by Bar Manager Nicholas Priedite, has

California Rattlesnake with fennel-infused rye, yellow chartreuse, cardamom, lemon, fennel blossoms, courtesy The Lark.

California Rattlesnake with fennel-infused rye, yellow chartreuse, cardamom, lemon, fennel blossoms, courtesy The Lark.

some gorgeous new seasonal cocktails on the menu that are perfect for celebrating the change of season in Santa Barbara County.

Fall additions to The Lark’s cocktail menu include:

Jackrabbit

carrot, burnt sage, mezcal, aquavit, dry vermouth, lime

Baker Street Old Fashioned

Baker Street Old Fashioned coconut-washed bourbon, pear brandy, piloncillo, house chicory bitters with scotch rinse, courtesy The Lark.

Baker Street Old Fashioned
coconut-washed bourbon, pear brandy, piloncillo,
house chicory bitters with scotch rinse, courtesy The Lark.

coconut-washed bourbon, pear brandy, piloncillo,

house chicory bitters with scotch rinse

California Rattlesnake

fennel-infused rye, yellow chartreuse, 

Jackrabbit with carrot, burnt sage, mezcal, aquavit, dry vermouth, lime, courtesy The Lark.

Jackrabbit with carrot, burnt sage, mezcal, aquavit, dry vermouth, lime, courtesy The Lark.

cardamom,

lemon, fennel blossoms

La Vie en Rose

concord grape-infused vodka, rosemary, lillet rouge, lemon, sparkling wine 

A Night in Tunisia

apple brandy, scotch, orange, ginger, turmeric, lemon  

La Vie en Rose concord grape-infused vodka, rosemary, lillet rouge, lemon, sparkling wine, courtesy The Lark.

La Vie en Rose
concord grape-infused vodka, rosemary, lillet rouge, lemon, sparkling wine, courtesy The Lark.

Driftwood

passionfruit, Barbados rum, cacao nib, cinnamon, vanilla, lime

Kashmir

blackberry-infused reposado, cynar, byrrh, lemon

Dream Weaver

vodka, fino sherry, bianco vermouth, elderflower, castelvetrano olives

Located in a historic warehouse built in the 1920’s in Santa Barbara’s The Funk Zone, The Lark’s fresh market-driven drinks are influenced by the California

A Night in Tunisia apple brandy, scotch, orange, ginger, turmeric, lemon, courtesy The Lark.

A Night in Tunisia
apple brandy, scotch, orange, ginger, turmeric, lemon, courtesy The Lark.

climate and are designed to complement the seasonally changing menu of small and large plates by Executive Chef Jason Paluska. All fall drinks are now available through December.

The Lark (131 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara) is open Tuesday-Sunday at 5 p.m. For more information, visit thelarksb.comCheers! 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 November 9, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: The Valley Cocktail Collection at S.Y. Kitchen

S.Y. Kitchen's El Dorado cocktail with mezcal, ancho chili liquor, yellow pepper, sage, lime and agave, photo by David Zepeda.

S.Y. Kitchen’s El Dorado cocktail with mezcal, ancho chili liquor, yellow pepper, sage, lime and agave, photo by David Zepeda.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

Inspired by Santa Ynez Valley produce, herbs and botanicals, mix maestro Alberto Battaglini knocks it out of the park once again with these fantastic new cocktail concoctions at S.Y. Kitchen. “The Valley Collection” was inspired by our warming temperatures and designed to complement the amazing cuisine of Chef Luca Crestanelli.

“The soul of mixology is found in all the old recipes that we twist with modern ingredients and tools, to play with tastes and to give every customer an extraordinary experience,” says Battaglini, the General Manager and Resident Mixologist at S. Y. Kitchen, where he creates his infusions of spirits and bitters from a local bounty of fruits, vegetables and herbs.

S.Y. Kitchen's Mediterraneo cocktail with pisco, aperol, red bell pepper, basil and lime, photo by David Zepeda.

S.Y. Kitchen’s Mediterraneo cocktail with pisco, aperol, red bell pepper, basil and lime, photo by David Zepeda.

A native of Verona and school friend of Chef Crestanelli’s, Battaglini dreamed of a restaurant career from the time he was a young boy. Attending Scuola Alberghiera, he learned the fundamentals of cooking and food service, and quickly learned that being a chef was not for him. From there he started his ardent love affair with spirits, which took him to Gatwick, London where he met his mentor in mixology, Ian Slater. He further honed his mixology passion and skills in Spain and Mexico before meeting up with his old school friend Crestanelli, at Bar Toscana in Los Angeles and eventually coming to Santa Barbara County with Toscana and Bar Toscana owners Kathie and Mike Gordon, who partnered with Crestanelli to create S.Y. Kitchen. 

Battaglini, who recently competed as a western division finalist for the United States Bartenders Guild, has created seven new summer drinks for the Valley Collection cocktail menu : Cilantro Margarita, El Viejo, Pineapple & Basil Mojito, Sundown, Last Tokyo, Mediterraneo and the El Dorado 

S.Y. Kitchen's Pineapple & Basil Mojito with rum, pineapple, basil, lime and sugar, photo by David Zepeda.

S.Y. Kitchen’s Pineapple & Basil Mojito with rum, pineapple, basil, lime and sugar, photo by David Zepeda.

S.Y. Kitchen's Cilantro Margarita with tequila blanco and reposado, fresh cilantro, lime, agave and black lava salt, photo by David Zepeda.

S.Y. Kitchen’s Cilantro Margarita with tequila blanco and reposado, fresh cilantro, lime, agave and black lava salt, photo by David Zepeda.

 

S.Y. Kitchen's Sundown cocktail with rum, dry elderflower, strawberry, mint, basil, lime, photo by David Zepeda.

S.Y. Kitchen’s Sundown cocktail with rum, dry elderflower, strawberry, mint, basil, lime, photo by David Zepeda.

S.Y. Kitchen's El Viejo cocktail with mezcal, jalapeño, pineapple, cilantro, agave, lime and gusano powder, photo by David Zepeda.

S.Y. Kitchen’s El Viejo cocktail with mezcal, jalapeño, pineapple, cilantro, agave, lime and gusano powder, photo by David Zepeda.

 

S.Y. Kitchen's Last Tokyo cocktail with Japanese whisky, fresh sage, green chartreuse, maraschino and lemon, photo by David Zepeda.

S.Y. Kitchen’s Last Tokyo cocktail with Japanese whisky, fresh sage, green chartreuse, maraschino and lemon, photo by David Zepeda.

 

S.Y. Kitchen is located at 1110 Faraday St., Santa Ynez. For further information and full menus, visit www.sykitchen.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 August 10, 2018.

 

Cocktail Corner: Biltmore Summer Tasting Series

Photo courtesy Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

Photo courtesy Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

It’s always a treat to visit Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, and this summer’s tasting series offers some particularly fun ways to celebrate the season. Next up, on July 13, is RED, WHITE & BREW, which features a Tequila Bar, as well as ice cold beer from some of Santa Barbara’s award-winning local microbreweries including Topa Topa, Telegraph Brewing, Brass Bear Brewing, Rincon Brewery, Island Brewing Company and Boochcraft.

In addition, guests can make a meal of it and pair their drinks with ceviche, barbecue suckling pig, Ensenada mussels and chorizo, lime coconut black beans and corn avocado salad from the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore’s creative culinary team. RED, WHITE & BREW takes place from 6-9 p.m. and is $55 per person.

Also on the Biltmore’s summer calendar is SUNSET SPRITZ, on August 24, featuring an Apertivo Bar offering Aperol Spritzes, Negroni’s and Italian red and white wines. The offerings also include housemade bites like fried cheese, olives, dalla forma pasta (prepared in Pecorino cheese wheel) and Cichetti Veneziani, aka traditional Venetian fare. SUNSET SPRITZ takes place from 6-9 p.m. and is $65 per person.

The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore is located at 1260 Chanel Dr., Montecito. To purchase tickets for either event, please call 805/565-8232.

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 June 29, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Belvedere Vodka’s New Ginger Zest Flavor

Ginger Zest Spritz, courtesy Belvedere.

Ginger Zest Spritz, courtesy Belvedere.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

Belvedere Vodka‘s new Ginger Zest flavor recently hit the shelves and it’s perfect for the warmer days of late spring and summer. A delicious and refreshing blend of tangy ginger and juicy spring lemon with a touch of grapefruit, it works well in a wide variety of drinks.

Belvedere’s distinctive, time-intensive maceration process ensures its Dankowskie Gold rye vodka is imbued with real spices and fruit, reinforcing its 100% natural, no sugar added and non-GMO Polish Rye philosophy. Ginger Zest is created by extracting fragrant oils from pure ginger, spring lemons and grapefruit that have been immersed in Belvedere Vodka. The result is a delicious, smooth liquid of uncompromising quality and character, infused with notes of ginger spice and balanced with zesty citrus.

The vodka’s delicious with a simple splash of tonic and lime or grapefruit juice.

Belvedere Polish Mule, courtesy Belvedere.

Belvedere Polish Mule, courtesy Belvedere.

“For something even better, Chef and wellness expert Candice Kumai, embracing the roots inherited from her Polish father, partnered with Belvedere to create dishes that paired with the following Ginger Zest signature cocktails.”

Polish Mule 

Belvedere's new ginger zest vodka, courtesy photo.

Belvedere’s new ginger zest vodka, courtesy photo.

2 oz Belvedere Ginger Zest

.5 oz Lime Juice

.25 oz Simple Syrup

5 oz Ginger Beer

3-4 Dashes of Angostura Bitters

Whip, shake, dump and top with soda. Garnish with lime wheel.

 

Ginger Zest Spritz

1 oz Belvedere Ginger Zest 

.75 oz Lime Juice

.5 oz Honey Syrup

4 oz Soda Water

Build in spritz glass. Garnish with ginger and lime slices.

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 June 1, 2018.

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: Spring Delights at S.Y. Kitchen

Fennel & Raspberry Sour (fennel vodka, fresh raspberry, lemon, lime, simple syrup and dill) is one of the new spring cocktails at S.Y. Kitchen. Photo by Elisabetta Antonacci.

Fennel & Raspberry Sour (fennel vodka, fresh raspberry, lemon, lime, simple syrup and dill) is one of the new spring cocktails at S.Y. Kitchen. Photo by Elisabetta Antonacci.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

S.Y. Kitchen Mixologist Alberto Battaglini takes his spring cocktail inspiration from local market produce, herbs and botanicals. He’s created three new seasonal cocktails to delight your senses.

The Fennel & Raspberry Sour—made with fennel vodka, fresh raspberry, lemon, lime, simple syrup and dill—has a nice balance of sweet and herbal flavors, as does the Pineapple & Basil Mojito—made with the Real Mccoy three year Private Barrel Rum, pineapple, basil, lime and sugar. Mescal is one of the hottest ingredients in cocktails right now, and Battaglini combines it with tequila, basil, jalapeño, cucumber and salt to create La Gritona, a handcrafted blend designed to pair perfectly with S.Y. Kitchen Executive Chef Luca Crestanelli‘s seasonally driven Italian cuisine.  

Pineapple & Basil Mojito (with the Real Mccoy 3 year private barrel rum, pineapple, basil, lime and sugar) is one of the new spring cocktails at S.Y. Kitchen. Photo by Elisabetta Antonacci.

Pineapple & Basil Mojito (with the Real Mccoy 3 year private barrel rum, pineapple, basil, lime and sugar) is one of the new spring cocktails at S.Y. Kitchen. Photo by Elisabetta Antonacci.

A native of Verona, Battaglini dreamed of a restaurant career when he was still in elementary school. Attending Scuola Alberghiera, he learned the fundamentals of cooking and food service, and soon learned that being a chef was not for him. He did, however, start his ardent love affair with spirits, which took him to Gatwick, London where he met his mentor in mixology, Ian Slater. Battaglini then further honed his mixology passion and skills in Spain and Mexico before meeting up with his old school friend Chef Crestanelli at Bar Toscana in Brentwood.

This spring, as one of the few finalists in the western division, Battaglini competes for the regional win for the United States Bartenders Guild which moves on to the national competition in June.

La Gritona (tequila, mescal, basil, jalapeño, cucumber and salt) is one of the new spring cocktails at S.Y. Kitchen. Photo by Elisabetta Antonacci.

La Gritona (tequila, mescal, basil, jalapeño, cucumber and salt) is one of the new spring cocktails at S.Y. Kitchen. Photo by Elisabetta Antonacci.

Battaglini says, “The soul of mixology is found in all the old recipes that we twist with modern ingredients and tools, to play with tastes and to give every customer an extraordinary experience.”

Check them out at S.Y. Kitchen (1110 Faraday St., Santa Ynez), and let us know what you think.

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 March 20, 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: 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.