Alcazar’s Ginspiration Point is the 2017 Official Drink of Santa Barbara. An homage to the hike that takes you to one of the city’s most inspiring vista points, the fizzy tipple topped the judges’ lists for the Official Drink of Santa Barbara Cocktail Contest — copresented by Visit Santa Barbara, The Santa Barbara Independent, and the Museum of Contemporary Art S.B. — with raves for its “balanced, lovely” flavor, deemed “super zesty and distinct.” Designed by restaurateur Alvaro Rojas, the drink features Santa Barbara–made Cutler’s gin and Nostrum pineapple turmeric ginger shrub, along with Bénédictine, lime juice, Chartreuse, and an egg white from the S.B. Farmers Market. “I feel really honored that we were chosen to represent the whole city with a cocktail, and moving forward with all these great players that I’m among, it feels a little surreal,” said Rojas, who made the drink onstage with assistant Kyle Peete. “It’s a privilege to live in a town where we have an elevated cocktail scene now,” he added.
Inspired by a conversation with a Norwegian barkeep about herbal liqueurs, the cocktail is an aromatic, floral one, “reflecting the botanical notes you’re likely to find after a post-rain hike,” Rojas said in a statement, with a spicy pop from the Nostrum’s shrub. The cocktail “was engineered with as many local ingredients and producers as we could conjure to fit the true spirit or our local flavor.
“Santa Barbara is a cornucopia of flavors, activities, backdrops, climates, and cultures,” and the Ginspiration Point, he said, echoes this “lush variety of flavors. The feeling and flavors you get with our cocktail are analogues to the community’s zest for life and affection for the beauty and variety we experience with our climate, culture, and outdoor life.” Cheers to that!