How to Not Screw Up the Drink

Humans, in my opinion have royally screwed up three things:
dogs, toothpaste and martinis.
Yes, I guess we did a number on the environment, too, but in terms
of things people like to buy and have and use, it comes down to
these three. poodle.jpgWe took wolves and selectively bred them
into poodles and bulldogs and Chihuahuas and all manner of
subspecies that barely even look like they could be related.
Toothpaste, fairly straightforward back in the days of my
childhood, has spawned so many varieties — with bleach, with
numbing agents, with baking soda, with herbs, with strawberry
flavoring, with micro-abrasive crystals, without fluoride, and with
whitening power but without bleach, just to name a few — that
purchasing the proper type of dental hygiene cream becomes a

Then there’s martinis. Once a symbol of
James Bond-level
suavity, the martini has been bastardized
into all so many fruity concoctions and colors that the allue has
been fully drained from the drink. Fear not — while many Santa
Barbara locations still know how to sling a decent martini,

Bricks Café
(509 State St.) serves the fancy-pants varieties at
the entirely reasonable price of $5 each. Best of all: they’re not
merely fruit juice-sweetened takes on the old-fashioned model.

Take the Ortega, for example. This cocktail turns the typical
martini formula on its head in a good way by substituting Absolut
Peppar for regular vodka. For the uninitiated,
Absolut Peppar
. martini2.jpgAltogether shunned by mainstream
alcoholic society in Santa Barbara, this unique vodka balances the
alcohol with the taste of japapeno peppers, bell peppers and
paprika. Mixed with the sliced cucumber garnish, the Ortega makes
for a refreshing drink — which in turn makes Bricks a good rest
stop for those transitioning into or out from typical State Street
party mode. Those who hanker for the a more typical sweet martini
may want to check out the De La Vina, to which Bricks drinkslingers
add a splash of red wine.

So poodles will prance, your toothpaste might double as a muscle
relaxant and this classic drink may never be rescued from the craze
of the Mangotini and Tartini. But Bricks, at least, knows to spin
the trend in a good direction — and all for a very affordable


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