Flavor of the Month: Gingerbread

Flavor of the Month: Gingerbread, ed in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Flavor of the Month: Gingerbread, ed in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

“A delicious gingerbread man with a cold glass of milk is a holiday staple for me,” says Kyle Kent, bar supervisor at The Lark, who created his Gingerbread Clarified Milk Punch
Cocktail for this holiday season. The aromatics of gingerbread—molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and clove—evoke the holiday spirit, so it’s no wonder local chefs, bakers,
and mixologists have been inspired to concoct new riffs on the classic treat.

What: Clarified Milk Punch Cocktail, a mix of gingerbread spices and rich, creamy milk in a cold, dessert-style cocktail
Where: The Lark, Santa Barbara (thelarksb.com)

What: Gingerbread Gelato, traditional holiday spices warm up an authentic Italian frozen dessert
Where: Solvang Flavors, Solvang (solvangflavors.com)

What: The Gingerbread-Latte Macaron, the classic French-style sandwich cookie meets all-American gingerbread flavors in a confection from pastry chef Ron Viloria
Where: Goat Tree café at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara (hotelcalifornian. com/santa_barbara_restaurants/goat_tree)

What: The Gingerbread Latte, delicately sweet gingery heat mingles with espresso and steamed milk in a seasonal cuppa
Where: Libbey’s Market at the Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai (ojaivalleyinn.com/dining)

What: Gingerbread-spiced Morning Buns, classic buns get a gingerbread flavored twist in this holiday special from executive chef Jason Paluska
Where: Helena Avenue Bakery, Santa Barbara (helenaavenuebakery.com)

What: The Get Rich or Die Chai-ing Cocktail, a gingerbread-reminiscent mix of chai, blended scotch, orgeat, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Fernet-Branca, lemon juice, and herbal liqueur by mixologist-co-owner Brandon Ristaino
Where: The Good Lion, Santa Barbara (goodlioncocktails.com)

Cover of 805 Living December 2020 Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Cocktail Corner: Getting Pickled!

2015 Screamin’ Pickle Fermented Cocktail Competition takes place on Sept. 8. Courtesy photo.

2015 Screamin’ Pickle Fermented Cocktail Competition takes place on Sept. 8. Courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

Here’s a fun challenge for home bartenders. Local amateur cocktail artists are invited to enter the Screamin’ Pickle Fermented Cocktail Competition. Co-sponsored by Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, The Good Lion  and the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival, contestants must sign up by Friday, September 4.

The competition will be held at The Good Lion on Tuesday, September 8.

The contest encourages participants to craft innovative cocktails featuring Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, paired with traditionally fermented mixers such as shrubs, raw apple cider vinegar, kombucha, beet kvass, ginger soda, kimchi, sauerkraut juice, fermented fruit and other creative libations.

The winning cocktail artist gets bragging rights, as well as the coveted Screamin’ Pickle Award at a ceremony at the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival, and will also have his or her cocktail featured byThe Good Lion in the Farm-to-Bar Area of the festival.

Ian Cutler, Cutler’s Artisan Spirits owner and distiller, came up with the contest as a creative way to bring together local spirits created by fermented grains with local mixers also created by the process of fermentation. When he shared his idea with The Good Lion proprietor Brandon Ristaino and Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival Co-Founder Katie Hershfelt, the trio decided they had to make it happen. “We couldn’t be more excited to challenge our fellow cocktail enthusiasts and spread the wild world of fermentation to a wider audience,” Hershfelt says.

Contestants can enter by contacting Cutler at info@cutlersartisan.com by Friday, September 4. Ten slots are available on a first come, first served basis.

Competition and judging by a panel of prominent industry experts will take place at The Good Lion on Tuesday, September 8 [event is closed to the public]. First, Second and Third Place winners will be announced and receive their prizes at the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival Kick-Off Party at The Good Lion on Tuesday, September 15, at 6:30 p.m. [which is open to the public].

The First Place Cocktail will be served at Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival at Rancho La Patera & Stow House in Goleta on Sunday, September 20 from noon to 4 p.m. (A ticket is required to gain access to the tasting area).

For more information and to purchase tickets to the festival, visit www.SBFermentationFestival.com/activities/, follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/836647733108873/ or email info@cutlersartisan.com.


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 Magazine on August 28, 2015.