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Mixologists, Give It Your Best Shot in Cocktail Contest

Visit Santa Barbara seeks entries for '2017 Official Drink of Santa Barbara'

Visit Santa Barbara, the destination marketing organization for Santa Barbara’s South Coast region, will host the “2017 Official Drink of Santa Barbara” cocktail contest from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, 653 Paseo Nuevo. Presenting sponsors include the Santa Barbara Independent and the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara.

Visit Santa Barbara challenges local restaurants, bars, breweries to create a Santa Barbara-inspired cocktail. Click to view larger
Visit Santa Barbara challenges local restaurants, bars, breweries to create a Santa Barbara-inspired cocktail. (Blake Bronstad)

“Santa Barbara has so many talented mixologists and an abundance of culinary riches. We’re excited to see how they will creatively represent our incredible destination in one signature cocktail,” said Visit Santa Barbara President/CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes. “With the holidays behind us and award season ahead, it’s fun to draw attention to our local businesses with a bit of friendly competition.”

Local restaurants, bars, lounges, tasting rooms and breweries are invited to develop a new, unique signature mixed drink that celebrates the distinctive attributes of The American Riviera®. The creation must include a liquor from Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, a locally owned small-scale craft distillery located in the Funk Zone.

Contestants are encouraged to use at least one local ingredient and take inspiration from Santa Barbara’s dramatic landscapes, architectural landmarks and culinary scene. Businesses may submit entries until Jan. 13 to the competition page (independent.com/officialdrinkofsb).

Then, from Jan. 14-19, the public can view the entries posted, visit participating establishments to purchase drink submissions, and vote for their favorite entry at independent.com/officialdrinkofsb.

The top five finalists will participate in the live competition emceed by Gabe Saglie, TV personality and senior editor for TravelZoo, Thurs., Jan. 26 at MCASB, where a panel of judges will decide on the winning cocktail.

Judges will include KEYT meteorologist/reporter Meredith Garofalo, mixologist and Santa Barbara Independent columnist Patrick Reynolds, food and libations writer George Yatchisin, Santa Barbara Seasons editor Leslie Dinaberg; and Gwen Stauffer, Visit Santa Barbara outgoing board chair and Ganna Walska Lotusland executive director.

One winner will be crowned and will have the exclusive rights to sell the “2017 Official Drink of Santa Barbara” at his/her place of business throughout the year. The winner will also receive a Santa Barbara gift basket full of local goodies, one year of membership to Visit Santa Barbara, an interview with media, promotion across Visit Santa Barbara’s marketing and media channels, and more.
Public ticket sales for the competition begin on Wednesday, Jan. 11. Tickets are $25 and include two drink tickets, appetizers and a sample of the top five finalists’ entries (while supplies last). Event-goers must be 21 or older to attend.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. and Santa Barbara Vintners also will be pouring drinks, and a cash bar will be available. Tickets are limited, and advance ticket purchase is required. For more information, visit http://www.sbindytickets.com/events/40449965/official-drink-of-santa-barbara-cocktail-competition.

Additional sponsors for the “2017 Official Drink of Santa Barbara” Cocktail Contest include Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara Vintners and Classic Party Rentals.

Visit Santa Barbara is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization jointly funded by the city of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, the South Coast Tourism Business Improvement District and by hospitality busi­ness memberships. Its mission is to enhance the economies of the local communities through tourism marketing.

— Natalie Bovee for Visit Santa Barbara.


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