Cocktail Corner: Santa Barbara’s Official Drink Contest

Posted on Jan 13 by Leslie Dinaberg

Visit Santa Barbara challenges mixologists to create a Santa Barbara-inspired cocktail. Photo by Blake Bronstad.

Visit Santa Barbara challenges mixologists to create a Santa Barbara-inspired cocktail. Photo by Blake Bronstad.

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg 

Mirror, mirror on the wall. What’s the most “Santa Barbara-like” cocktail of all? 

I’ve pondered this question myself on more than one occasion, so it excites me that we’ll get a definitive answer on January 26 at the “2017 Official Drink of Santa Barbara” Cocktail Contest,” held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (653 Paseo Nuevo). 

Hosted and conceived by Visit Santa Barbara, this creative contest invited local restaurants, bars, lounges, tasting rooms and breweries to develop a new, unique signature mixed drink that celebrates the distinctive attributes of our lovely town.

The creation must include a liquor from Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, and in addition, contestants are encouraged to use at least one local ingredient and take inspiration from Santa Barbara’s dramatic landscapes, architectural landmarks and culinary scene. 

Back Garden by Alberto Battaglini of SY Kitchen is one of the entries you can vote on for the "Official Drink of Santa Barbara Cocktail Contest." Courtesy photo.

Back Garden by Alberto Battaglini of SY Kitchen is one of the entries you can vote on for the “Official Drink of Santa Barbara Cocktail Contest.” Courtesy photo.

“Santa Barbara has so many talented mixologists and an abundance of culinary riches. We’re excited to see how they will creatively represent our incredible destination in one signature cocktail,” says Visit Santa Barbara President/CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes.

From January 14-19 , the public can view the entries posted, visit participating establishments to purchase drink submissions, and vote for their favorite entry on independent.com/officialdrinkofsb.

Then, the top five mixologists will get to compete in the live event on January 26, emceed by the always entertaining Gabe Saglie, television personality and senior editor for TravelZoo. The lucky panel of judges includes yours truly (it’s a tough job, I know), along with KEYT Meteorologist/Reporter Meredith Garofalo, Mixologist and Santa Barbara Independent Columnist Patrick Reynolds, Visit Santa Barbara outgoing Board Chair and Ganna Walska Lotusland Executive Director Gwen Stauffer, and local food and libations writer George Yatchisin

True North by Olio Crudo Bar is one of the entries you can vote on for the "Official Drink of Santa Barbara Cocktail Contest." Courtesy photo.

True North by Olio Crudo Bar is one of the entries you can vote on for the “Official Drink of Santa Barbara Cocktail Contest.” Courtesy photo.

Along with huge bragging rights and some prizes, the winner will have the exclusive rights to sell the “2017 Official Drink of Santa Barbara” at his/her place of business throughout the year. 

Speaking of bragging rights, don’t miss out on being able to say you had one of the first “Official Drinks of Santa Barbara.” Advance tickets are now on sale for $25, which includes two drink tickets, appetizers and a sample of the top five finalists’ entries (while supplies last). Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. and Santa Barbara Vintners also will be pouring drinks, and a cash bar will be available. Tickets are limited, and advance ticket purchase is required. Event-goers must be 21 or older to attend.  For more information, visit or to purchase tickets, go to http://www.sbindytickets.com/events/40449965/official-drink-of-santa-barbara-cocktail-competition.

The “2017 Official Drink of Santa Barbara” Cocktail Contest” takes place January 26 from 6 to 8 p.m.  at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (653 Paseo Nuevo).

Hope to see some of you there. 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.”

 

 

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