Saturday, October 10 , 2015, 5:31 am | Fair 64º

Mixologist Sean Sepulveda Now Behind the Bar at Cádiz

By Jennifer Guess for Cádiz |

Cádiz has handed over the liquor bottles and shaker to local mixologist Sean Sepulveda, the new bar manager at the popular tapas and seafood restaurant on State Street.

Sean Sepulveda
Sean Sepulveda

A visionary in the field of adult beverages, Sepulveda believes that handcrafted cocktails are “a lost art in Santa Barbara,” one that he looks forward to reinventing at Cadiz.

Now spearheading the mixology program at Cádiz, Sepulveda wasted little time, and has added several inspired new libations to the cocktail menu, such as the Valencia with Wild Turkey 81, house-made strawberry-rhubarb jam, lemon juice and Leopold’s cranberry foam, and the Capri with serrano infused Espolón blanco, Luxardo amaretto, mango puree, lime juice and a Spanish paprika garnish.

He has also dedicated a portion of the menu to reintroducing pre- and post-Prohibition-era cocktails, made with the best ingredients and classic techniques.

During an all-new Happy Hour at Cadiz, all night long on Tuesdays and from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, guests can now enjoy these creative specialty cocktails for $7, house wines and sangria for $5, and select beer for $3. Happy Hour at Cádiz also features a new, mouthwatering menu of tapas perfect for sharing with friends and all for $7 or less, including Grilled Beef Skewers with capers and grainy mustard vinaigrette, and a Mediterranean Dip Trio with hummus, baba ganoush and herbed Greek yogurt.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown from a seat on the patio, or sit at the bar and visit with Sepulveda, who will be happy to chat about his latest infusions and spirits with which he’s experimenting.

Sepulveda began his career in the food and beverage industry at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club. Though on the managerial side at SOhO, he found a creative outlet at the bar and discovered that he had quite a knack for mixing concoctions beyond the standard cocktail.

Sepulveda further developed his love for the classic cocktail and the “American bar” at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, where he learned firsthand how proper service standards and attention to detail make all the difference in creating a top-notch experience for guests. Most recently and notably, Sepulveda was part of the opening team at Cielito Restaurant & Bar, as the head mixologist and bar manager, where he developed the entire original mixology program from the ground up.

Sepulveda hails from Fort Collins, Colo., but has spent the majority of his adult life in Southern California, and holds a business degree in marketing from CSU Northridge.

Sepulveda is keen on serving cocktails that pair well with Cádiz’s edible offerings, and worked closely with Executive Chef John Pettitt while concocting the new cocktail list. Pettitt, whose résumé includes Seagrass and Wine Cask locally in Santa Barbara, as well as Melisse in Santa Monica and Gary Denko in San Francisco, continues to preside over the kitchen at Cádiz.

Chef Pettitt has also introduced new items on the menu at Cádiz, featuring seasonal delicacies like Alaskan Salmon with forbidden rice, smoked corn, pickled, shishitos, and sweet onion sauce, and Wild Boar Ribs with roasted root vegetables, polenta, and fuyu persimmon chutney.

— Jennifer Guess is a publicist representing Cádiz.

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