Courtesy Photo

Learn to Be a Better Bartender

New Lecture Series Aimed at Elevating Mixology Culture in Santa Barbara

BEING A BETTER BARTENDER: When Alvaro Rojas, owner of Alcazar and Milk & Honey, got together a few months ago with Greg Brechbiel of Sama Sama Kitchen, they had a conversation that just might take Santa Barbara’s bar scene to the next level. “We wanted to create a forum where education and camaraderie were the focus,” said Brechbiel. Added Rojas, “We wanted to get away from the ‘hands over your test paper’ attitude you see out there with cocktail creation.” So the two created The Bartender’s Cabinet, a monthly meeting of barkeeps to discuss everything good about the industry. Enlisting Brandon Ristaino of The Good Lion, the trio are bringing together intellectual speakeasies for those usually on the other side of the bar. So far, presenters have included Ian Cutler of Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, discussing gin distillation, and Dushan Zaric of New York’s Employees Only, who explained how bar service is being reinvented. Upcoming topics will touch on the history of sherry, a sake and Japanese whisky tasting, and trips to various distillers near and far. The next meeting is Monday, February 23, at an undisclosed location. To get an invite, send your info to You don’t have to be a working bartender to join—just have an interesting spirit!

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Body of Los Angeles Firefighter Found in Montecito Mountains

Captain Wayne Habell had been reported missing on August 13.

Natural Disaster Federal Loan Update

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers low rates.

Laura’s Law Program Praised by County 

The Assisted Outpatient Treatment program tackles serious mental-health issues.

Front Fire Tops 1,000 Acres in Los Padres National Forest

Containment was estimated at 5% on Monday morning.

Runner-Up Protests City Pot Pick

SGSB says retail selection result was "manifestly unfair."