Cocktail Corner: Summer Sips, Santa Barbara Style

Posted on Jun 21 by SEASONS Magazine

Intermezzo's Thai High (courtesy photo). Also available at the Wine Cask.

Intermezzo’s Thai High (courtesy photo). Also available at the Wine Cask.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

It’s finally official: summer is here! While just about any cocktail is suitable for summer, when the sun’s beating down, there’s sand in your toes or you’re barbecuing, some sips are just a bit more summery than others. Here are a few of my favorites.

When Life Gives You Lemons …

… by all means, spike the lemonade! I finally got myself over to the hip new Seven Bar & Kitchen this week (224 Helena Ave., 805/845-0377) where my tastebuds were tickled by their yummy strawberry infused vodka lemonade. It’s great on its own, but even better when paired with one of their 7 deadly sins sandwiches.

Luke’s Lemonade at the Hungry Cat (1134 Chapala St., 805/884-4701), spiked with vodka and mint, is also a delicious and refreshing summer treat.

The Wonders of Watermelon

Watermelon is one of my favorite summer flavors, and as if to further prove my theory that it goes with everything, the guys at Arlington Tavern have created Watermelon Beer out of Firestone 805 Blonde Summer Ale and watermelon puree. Seriously good stuff!

Alcazar's Heat of Passion cocktail. Courtesy Photo.

Alcazar’s Heat of Passion cocktail. Courtesy Photo.

Of course, there are lots of other fun things you can do with watermelon cocktails, it goes well with tequila, vodka and even wine. Click here for a great Rachel Ray recipe for Watermelon-Plum Sangria.

Enjoy the Heat

It may seem counterintuitive, but hot days call for spicy drinks. One of my favorites is the Thai High at Intermezzo  (819 Anacapa St.). Made with chili-infused vodka, mango, lime and lemongrass syrup, it’s the perfect mix of sweet and heat. Try it with the tuna tartare on cucumber “boats” and sail away into summertime bliss.

And of course I can’t leave out The Heat of Passion, a habanero chile-infused tequila concoction with fresh passion fruit puree, lime, sweet & sour and pure deliciousness found not only at Mesa favorite Alcazar  (1812 Cliff Dr., 805/962-0337) and downtown hot spot Milk & Honey (30 W. Anapamu St., 805/275-4232), but also at my new Noleta hangout The Bourbon Room (444 Hollister Ave., 805/265-3788).


Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

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.”


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