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Santa Barbara Names Official Drink

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TASTE News Service, February 9, 2017 — Results of the inaugural “Official Drink of Santa Barbara” craft cocktail contest are in, and the winner is “Ginspiration Point” by Alcazar Tapas Bar.

“Ginspiration Point” was designated Santa Barbara's official signature drink of 2017 at a final judging event hosted by Visit Santa Barbara Thursday, January 26.Alcazar Tapas Bar PicmonkeyA cozy part of the Alcazar Tapas Bar

The cocktail will be on the menu for the remainder of the year at Alcazar Tapas Bar and its sister restaurant, milk & honey, both located in Santa Barbara.

“Santa Barbara is well-known for wine and craft beer when it comes to local libations, but our region has also cultivated a serious cocktail culture, which we wanted to shine a spotlight on through this contest,” said Visit Santa Barbara President/CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes. “We encourage visitors to stop by Alcazar to savor this one-of-a-kind craft cocktail that truly captures the essence of Santa Barbara in a glass.”

“Ginspiration Point" is an homage to Inspiration Point, one of the most famous—and famously beautiful—hiking trails in Santa Barbara's foothills. The refreshing, citrus-forward cocktail is dominated by locally sourced ingredients, from the base spirit, Cutler's Artisan Spirits Gin, distilled in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone neighborhood, to locally produced Nostrum's Pineapple Turmeric Ginger Shrub. Other ingredients include Bénédictine, Chartreuse, and fresh produce and herbs sourced from Santa Barbara farmers markets: lime, mint, rosemary flowers and egg white.

Alvaro Rojas, owner of Alcazar Tapas Bar says: “Like Santa Barbara's rich paradise, 'Ginspiration Point' echoes a lush variety of flavors, textures and tones. This beautiful cocktail is complex, unique and robust but also easygoing and effortlessly elegant. Thus, the feelings and flavors our cocktail conjures are analogous to the Santa Barbara community's zest for life and affection for the beauty and variety we experience with our climate, culture and outdoor life.”

Other finalists in the “Official Drink of Santa Barbara” competition were: “La Reina” by The Boathouse; “Montecito” by Loquita; “True North, The Quintessential Santa Barbara Cocktail” by Olio e Limone, Santa Barbara; and “The Passion of the Pacific” by Rodney's Grill at The Fess Parker – A Doubletree by Hilton Resort.

“GINSPIRATION POINT” RECIPE BY ALCAZAR TAPAS BAR

Ingredients

1.5 ounces Cutler's Gin

.25 ounces Bénédictine

.75 ounces lime juice

.5 ounces Chartreuse

.5 ounces Nostrum Pineapple Turmeric Ginger Shrub

1 egg white

Earthtrine Farm rosemary flowers

Earthtrine Farm mint

lime zest

To Make

1. Combine Cutler's Gin, Bénédictine, lime juice, Chartreuse and Nostrum Pineapple Turmeric Ginger Shrub in shaker tin with ice.

2. Dry shake one egg white in separate shaker tin.

3. Add ingredients from step one to egg white tin and shake until frothy.

4. Strain into a coupe or Nick & Nora glass.

5. Garnish with rosemary flowers, lime zest and mint leaves.

GINSPIRATION POINT BACKGROUND

The cocktail was first inspired by a conversation about Santa Barbara that Alcazar owner Alvaro Rojas had with a like-minded barkeep while traveling in Norway last summer. The two shared an appreciation for Amari, a group of spirits made from herbs and botanicals. Added Rojas: “As we got deeper into our discussion about Santa Barbara's climate, local foods and abundance of available agricultural products, he crafted a few cocktails that he felt represented the theme of our culinary-inspired banter. My favorite drink… was similar to what you'll find in 'Ginspiration Point.'

“The contender was engineered with as many local ingredients and producers as possible to fit the true spirit, so to speak, of our community's local flavor and what we feel beautifully reflects our breathtaking town and litany of artisanal goods available,” he said. “Santa Barbara is a cornucopia of flavors, activities, backdrops, climates and cultures. Nestled in between the sea and the mountains, our gorgeous community is one of the most desirable places… in the world.”

Presenting sponsors for the “2017 Official Drink of Santa Barbara” Cocktail Contest included the Santa Barbara Independent and the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara. Additional sponsors were Cutler's Artisan Spirits, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara Vintners and Classic Party Rentals.

ABOUT SANTA BARBARA

Voted “Best Beach Town” by Sunset magazine in its inaugural travel awards and one of Condé Nast Traveler's “30 Best Small Cities in America” in its Readers' Choice Awards, Santa Barbara is nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean along California's Central Coast, about 90 miles north of Los Angeles. Known as “The American Riviera,” it offers natural beauty paired with Spanish-style architecture.

Editor’s note:  If you’re planning a visit to Santa Barbara, first check out the Central Coast listings in Taste California Travel’s Resource Directory. There you will find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to Wineries and Craft Beer specialists.

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