Revealed: Santa Barbara's 2017 Official Drink

Ginspiration Point has been named the beachy burg's big beverage.

IF YOU'VE EVER SAT DOWN... at a new restaurant or bar, in a city you don't know too well but enjoy visiting, you may have been inclined to ask about a "house dish" or "house drink," the sort of things that would allow you to have a better sense as to what the city is about. Or, at least, the city's foodie, beverage-based leanings, for every place seems to favor some particular local-grown ingredients or styles of cookery or cocktail-making. And while many eateries and taverns do actually boast a house dish or a house drink (or a house dessert or a house appetizer, and so on), it is rarer to find a city with a house fill-in-the-blank. Santa Barbara, though, is a stand-out here, as it so often is, for it does actually have an official 2017 signature drink, its first official drink, and this special libation was discovered through a craft cocktail contest. The winner, which was named at the contest's big wrap-up on Jan. 26, 2017? It's the memorably named Ginspiration Point, which is a moniker that is not only catchy but informative (spoiler alert: There is gin in this drink). Alcazar Tapas Bar is the place to find it, and milk & honey, too, but you won't be able to find it forever. It's available...

THROUGH 2017, so make your way to Alcazar or milk & honey for the refreshing sip, which is "an homage to Inspiration Point," the picturesque spot found in Santa Barbara's oh-so-hike-able hills. Cutler's Gin is a principal part of the concoction, and Bénédictine, too, as well as Chartreuse, Nostrum Pineapple Turmeric Ginger Shrub, lime juice, an egg white, and rosemary flowers and mint, both from Earthtrine Farm. There is some lime zest, too, which feels right, since a hike to Inspiration Point might just fill an adventurer with a zesty spirit (this is not a stretch; if you've hiked before, you know that particular zesty feeling). The Visit Santa Barbara folks say the "one-of-a-kind craft cocktail... truly captures the essence of Santa Barbara in a glass." If only all cities could have a house drink or house dish that did just that. Or, we suppose, they'd be called a city drink or city dish, more accurately. To find that zesty Ginspiration Point before 2017 wraps, hike not into the hills but in the direction of Alcazar Tapas Bar.

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