The third annual “Official Drink of Santa Barbara” Cocktail Contest will be held from 5-8 p.m. Thurs., June 20 at El Paseo Mexican Restaurant, 813 Anacapa St. Visit Santa Barbara is the host of the contest and The Santa Barbara Independent is the presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors include Bright Event Rentals, Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, Sunstone Vineyard and Winery, and El Paseo Mexican Restaurant.
Last year’s craft cocktail contest winner was “Biltmore Fuerte” (“Biltmore Strong” in Spanish) by Ty Lounge at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, which used Cutler’s Artisan Spirits’ 33 Bourbon as a base spirit and Super Bee Rescue “Thomas Wildfire Honey.”
Local restaurants, bars and lounges were invited to develop a new, unique signature mixed drink that celebrates the distinctive attributes of Santa Barbara. The creation had to include a spirit from Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, a locally owned, small-scale craft distillery located in the Funk Zone. Contestants were encouraged to use at least one local ingredient and take inspiration from Santa Barbara’s dramatic landscapes, architectural landmarks and culinary scene.
The five finalists that came out on top include:
- “The Glenn Annie” by Angel Oak at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara
- “Lucky Me” by Convivo at Santa Barbara Inn
- “Eucalyptus Lane” by Finch & Fork at the Kimpton Canary Hotel
- “The Queen’s Rose” by Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen
- “Sticky Fingers” by The Lark
Finalists will participate in the live competition emceed by Gabe Saglie, television personality and senior editor for Travelzoo. Judges will include senior reporter for KEYT John Palminteri, freelance writer and editor Hana-Lee Sedgwick, senior editor for the Santa Barbara Independent Matt Kettmann, and “2018 Official Drink of Santa Barbara” winner and bartender at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara Tyler Ondatje.
Tickets for the competition are on sale to the public now. Tickets are $25 and include one glass of wine, appetizers and a sample of the five finalists’ entries (while supplies last). Event-goers must be 21 or older to attend. Sunstone Winery will be pouring wine. Beer, wine and cocktails also will be available for purchase at the bar. Tickets are limited. For more information, visit SBIndyTickets.com.