A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg
I’ve been really into sweet, hot and spicy cocktails recently and had a fabulously tasty one the other night at The Marquee. The Antagonist is made of chili-infused Absolut Vodka, white peach puree, mixed berry puree and pineapple juice.
Not only is it really pretty—served in a martini glass, although this drink is nothing like a traditional martini— The Antagonist has the perfect proportions of sweetness and spiciness for this cold-but-sunny weather we’ve been having lately. In fact, there’s nothing antagonistic about this drink—it’s simply delicious.
The Marquee (1212 State St.) is an elegant lounge next to The Granada that makes me think of the glamorous Manhattan found in old black and white movies.
The retro-fun vibe and great location combine to make it a perfect place to have a cocktail before—or after—a show.
The clever drink menu is theatrically themed, with signature libations like Dress Rehearsal (Ardbeg 10yr. Single Malt Scotch, Johnny Walker Red Blended Scotch, fresh lime juice and ginger puree with candied ginger and lime) and The Showstopper (Beefeater Gin, Cointreau Orange Liqueur and fresh lime juice with fresh mint, Serrano chili and raspberries), modern classics like Gone With the Wind (Old Overhold Rye Whiskey, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, blood orange bitters and simple syrup with pressed orange and brandied cherry) and a slew of fun martinis, like The Understudy (Pearl Vodka, Triple Sec, lychee juice and cranberry juice with a Prosecco float, garnished with a lychee nut) and 42nd Street (Makers Mark, Bourbon Manhattan, garnished with brandied cherry), to name just a few.
They also have a variety of nibbles. Try the blue cheese-stuffed figs, which are wrapped in prosciutto and served warm. It was a surprisingly good fit with The Antagonist cocktail, and I’m sure they both made our next stop—Dreamgirls at The Granada—even more enjoyable. Theater League just announced its 2013-14 Broadway series (Million Dollar Quartet, The Addams Family, Hello Dolly and West Side Story). I recommend you reserve seats for these great shows, along with a bar stool at The Marquee.
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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.”