Cocktail Corner: Cool New Cocktails at Finch & Fork

Finch & Fork, courtesy photo

Finch & Fork, courtesy photo

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

Finch & Fork Restaurant at the Canary Hotel is right in the neighborhood (31 W. Carrillo St.) and one of my favorite places for happy hour, wine tastings on the roof and even to meet people for interviews (the bar couches are particularly cushiony and comfortable). Now they  have a fun new cocktail menu with a bit of the new age, a bit of the golden age and a bit of my personal favorite, the barrel age.

Barrel aged cocktails are all the rage these days because, … well, some things really do get better with age, and booze is definitely one of them. Finch & Fork’s new menu includes an Aged Old Fashioned made with Templeton Rye, sugar and angostura orange; the Classic Dark and Stormy, made with barrel-aged rum, cruzan black strap and ginger beer; and the Barrel Aged Bols Genever (typically a blend of rye, wheat and corn that is triple distilled in a copper pot still, then blended with the unique melange of botanicals that may include hops, cloves, anise, ginger and juniper, among others) served with ice and a bottle of fever tree tonic.

Fringillidae Mule, courtesy the Canary

Fringillidae Mule, courtesy the Canary

The golden age section of the menu includes a nod to one of my favorite cocktails, the Moscow Mule. Finch & Fork’s new version is the Fringillidae Mule (cleverly named for a bird that’s a cross between a finch and a canary), made with absolut vodka, lime, ginger beer and mint.  In another nod to the restaurant’s avian roots, they have the Hawaiian Honeycreeper (named for another member of the finch family, a small, passerine bird endemic to Hawaiʻi), made from appleton rum, sailor jerry, fresh lime, lemon, orange and orgeat.

The new age part of the cocktail menu includes the Bluebird of Happiness, made with tanqueray 10 gin, blueberry, lime, lavender and soda; the Flying A, with aviation gin, lemon, orgeat, egg white and atomized peach bitters; and the Barbareño, with herradura silver tequila, vida mezcal, lime, pineapple jalapeño agave and california ale.

The $5 happy hour specials are served from 4-7 p.m. every Monday through Friday, including a selection of beers, wine (Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon) and cocktails, including a fun Champagne Cocktail made with brandy, a bitter-soaked sugar cube and sparkling wine; Tommy’s Margarita, a Lemon Drop, a St. Germain Cocktail and a classic Manhattan. Also great for groups is the $20 Sangria & Bites special, which includes a pitcher of red or white sangria and three bites to share—warm citrus marinated olives, blistered shishito peppers, and honey roasted spiced nuts—all of which I can personally vouch for as yummy!

Finch & Fork's Blackberry Cooler, made with bulliet rye, blackberry, lemon, rosemary and maple. Courtesy photo.

Finch & Fork’s Blackberry Cooler, made with bulliet rye, blackberry, lemon, rosemary and maple. Courtesy photo.

For a delicious 360 degree view of Santa Barbara, don’t miss the popular Monday night wine on the roof of the Canary this summer every Monday from 5:30-8 p.m. Staring on Monday June 2 with Bratcher pouring, for $25 you can enjoy the view along wine tasting with local wineries, as well as nibbles from Chef James Siao. Andrew Murray is up the next week (June 9), followed by our friends from Beckmen Winery (June 16), Buttonwood (June 23) and Grand Places Selections (June 30).

The July lineup includes Westerly Wines (July 7), Zaca Mesa (July 14), Carr Winery (July 21) and Margerum (July 28).

August’s pours include wines from Lafond Winery (August 4), Demetria Estate (August 11), Summerland Winery (August 18) and Palmina & Brewer Clifton (August 25).

September sips include Standing Sun (September 8), Cluster Wine Group (September 15), Melville (September 22) and Cold Heaven Cellars (September 29), followed by Revel Wines on October 6 and the grand finale tasting with many of the wineries returning on October 13.

Hope to see some of you there.


Click here for more cocktail corner columns. Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on May 30, 2014.

Leslie Dinaberg

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.”