A small number of people, according to owner Roy Gandy, believe his restaurant and bar on Carrillo is called The Jolly Tiger, and not Roy. That could have something to do with the large, neon sign that says exactly that, hanging over the bar.
A Buffalo Bills football nestles in the lower loop of the “g,” a mark of the man who rescued this piece of Santa Barbara history from the back of an antique store. The actual Jolly Tiger was on the corner of Canon Perdido and Chapala, now Cajun Kitchen, a local chain of three eateries that closed in the ’80s.
To honor the sign, the cocktail menu now features a Jolly Tiger drink. As we near the end of summer (you know, the bit when it got really hot and made us realize that we hadn’t really had a summer) this is a good cocktail to see it out.
It’s low in alcohol, with no base hard liquor like vodka. Instead, it’s a mix of St. Germain and Aperol, with a splash of soda and lime, and some strawberry puree to smooth out the bitterness of the liqueurs. Made for us by bartender Jess Hinds, the cocktail hit the spot with its mild mix of fruit and floral, and it’s the same color as the sign itself.
THE JOLLY TIGER
1/ ounces Aperol
1 ounce St. Germain
Dash lime juice
Dash strawberry puree
Soda to top
Combine Aperol, St. Germain, lime juice and strawberry puree over ice. Shake and pour into lowball glass. Top with soda water.
Yield: 1 drink
7 W. Carrillo St. 966-5636