Cocktail Corner: Toasting the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Posted on Jan 25 by SEASONS Magazine

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

Even movie stars shine a little brighter when you give them a perfect cocktail. Since the stars will be out in full force this week, here’s where I would take some of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival VIPs out for drinks:

Harry's (courtesy photo)

Harry’s (courtesy photo)

Golden Globe winning director Ben Affleck, whose terrific film Argo seems to be the Oscar front runner at the moment, is a down-to-earth guy who would appreciate the local charm and flavor of Harry’s—not to mention the generous drinks. Perhaps after he receives the Modern Master Award on January 25 he’ll join us for a Dirty Martini at Harry’s. Made the old-fashioned way, with Bombay Gin, Dry Vermouth, a splash of olive juice, and a “family of olives,” like Affleck, this drink is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

The Biltmore's Smoked Maple Manhattan (courtesy photo)

The Biltmore’s Smoked Maple Manhattan (courtesy photo)

This Saturday night the whole town’s got a date with Daniel Day Lewis when he accepts the Montecito Award on January 26.

Be still my heart.

After years of lusting after Daniel Day Lewis (for his brain, of course, not to mention his smoldering Irish accent) I think its only fitting that before he takes the stage at the Arlington that night we should enjoy an ocean view sunset cocktail together at Four Seasons Resort the Biltmore in Montecito. I think Daniel would appreciate the poetry of a Smoked Maple Manhattan, made with hickory smoked Maker’s Mark bourbon, Bliss maple syrup infused vermouth, shaken straight up and garnished with a brandied cherry or two.

Quentin Tarantino will receive the American Riviera Award on January 30. He’s a great raconteur in any setting,  but I think he’d revel in both the view and the cocktails at The Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach, one of Santa Barbara’s loveliest spots for drinks. My personal favorite is the Blood Orange Margarita, made from El Charro 100% Agave Tequila, with fresh blood orange juice, fresh lime, Triple Sec and a splash of sweet and sour, served on the rocks.  I also love the Honeycomb Mojito: Myers Platinum Rum with honeycomb simple syrup, a squeeze of lime, mint, and a splash of club soda.

The enchanting Amy Adams is in town next Thursday, January 31, to receive the Cinema Vanguard Award for her work in The Master. This woman’s versatility is amazing. I’ve loved her in everything from serious dramas (Doubt, The Fighter) to lighthearted films (Enchanted, The Trouble With the Curve). I’d take Amy to Kunin Wine Tasting Room on the Urban Wine Trail. I think she’d appreciate the elegance and local flavor of this great spot, as well as a glass of Seth Kunin’s 2007 Santa Barbara County Syrah. Crafted from three different local vineyards, it’s a smoky, spicy taste of Syrah—and Santa Barbara.

Kunin Tasting Room (courtesy photo)

Kunin Tasting Room (courtesy photo)

Finally Jennifer Lawrence, who was fabulous in both the Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook this year, will receive the Outstanding Performer of the Year award on Saturday, February 2. I think she’d enjoy cocktails on the patio at Blush. I have a feeling she’d like one of their fruity fun libations, like the Melted Popsicle (Stoli Raspberry Vodka, Cointreau, fresh oranges, cranberry and lemonade) or Pineapple Smash (Pineapple-infused Skyy Vodka, agave nectar, lime juice, pineapple and jalapeno). Who knows, we might even go ballroom dancing later … when Bradley Cooper shows up.

Seriously, if any of you are reading this—especially Daniel Day Lewis—drinks are on me. Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg, hard at work. Photo by Derek Johnson.

Leslie Dinaberg, hard at work. Photo by Derek Johnson.

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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