DRINK OF THE WEEK: Cadiz’s Red White and Blueberry Fizz

Photo by Nik Blaskovich

Photo by Nik Blaskovich

Hooray for the red, white and … blueberry? This week we turned to Cadiz’s bartender, Sean Sepulveda, who appreciates a challenge, for a new twist on July Fourth. For this, he decided to make a drink in a pilsner glass, but you could use a Collins glass in a pinch. He muddled some blueberries in the bottom of the glass, then made a middle foam out of the delicious liqueur Cocchi Americano, poured some sparkling wine on top — he uses Saint-Hilaire Brut, but any dry sparkling brut will do — and on top of that he added the red with some Peychaud’s bitters.

Mr. Sepulveda garnished the drink with sugared blueberries and orange twists but he suggests using a sparkler, a U.S. flag and the like, “because this is America! And freedom!”

That’s the spirit, Sean. You can do whatever you like this holiday — but we do recommend you try our Drink of the Week.

RED WHITE AND BLUEBERRY FIZZ
1 ounce blueberry puree (see recipe)
2 ounces Cocchi Americano semi-foam (see recipe)
2 ounces Saint-Hilaire Brutdry sparkling wine
4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

In pilsner glass, add blueberry puree to bottom, top with semi-foam carefully, gently add sparkling wine and top with bitters. Garnish with blueberries and orange twists.

To make blueberry puree, muddle 5-6 blueberries and a rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar/water ratio).

To make Cocchi Americano semi-foam: Combine 2 ounces Cocchi Americano (a liqueur), 1 ounce rich simple syrup and 1 ounce lemon juice. Chill and dry shake. Add ice when ready to use and shake again.

Cadiz
509 State St.
(805) 770-2760 or www.cadizsb.com

DRINK OF THE WEEK : TRATTORIA VITTORIA’S CONTORTO COLLINS

Photo by Nik Blaskovich

Photo by Nik Blaskovich

Bartenders shuffle jobs often, and we were halfway through our introductions at Trattoria Vittoria when we realized we’d met our bartender before. Erica “Sparky” Sparks has a name you don’t forget, and we met her at Stella Mare last year. Because she once helped make drinks for a family gathering when she was a kid (and got tips!), Ms. Sparks likes to say she’s been bartending since she was 9 years old.

There’s so much on Trattoria Vittoria’s cocktail menu to go through, but one we really wanted to try was the Contorto Collins. Our main reason: Nobody orders Tom Collins (and variations) that much these days. It’s fallen out of fashion, taken over by its closest cousin, the gin and tonic. But the Contorto Collins replaces the lemon and sugar with apple schnapps and St. Germain, and soda water with tonic. If you love the elderflower taste, then this is the summer drink for you. It’s fruity and fresh and it’s also our Drink of the Week.

CONTORTO COLLINS
1 1/2 ounces gin (preferably Beefeater)
1/2 ounce DeKuyper Apple Pucker
1/2 ounce St. Germain liqueur
Squeeze lime juice
Tonic water, to top

Combine gin, Apple Pucker, St. Germain and lime juice over ice. Shake and pour into Collins glass filled with ice. Top with tonic. Garnish with lime wedge.

Trattoria Vittoria
30 E. Victoria St.
(805) 962-5014 or www.trattoriavittoria.com

DRINK OF THE WEEK: Relais de Paris’ St. Germain Champagne cocktail

Photo by Nik Blaskovich

Photo by Nik Blaskovich

Dustin Garnett has been tending bar for a few months at Relais de Paris after leaving The French Table and has one of those Horatio Alger tales of working hard – a dishwasher, then a busboy, then a server, then a bartender, and now a bartender with his eyes on his own place … one of these days. In the meantime, he’s busy during their happy hour (4 to 7 p.m.) and mixing up weekly (well, regular at least) cocktail specials, and that’s what we wanted to try: the St. Germain Champagne Cocktail.

It’s a very popular cocktail for summer, even with June Gloom in full effect, according to Mr. Garnett. It’s a mix of the elderflower liqueur known as St. Germain, grapefruit juice and a top of champagne (they use Michelle Brut). Simple, but the mix of tart and sweet, coupled with the bubbly, is just the right balance on the tongue. Even though it’s a weekly special, it’s not going anywhere as long as people are ordering it, so check out our Drink of the Week.

ST. GERMAIN CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL
2 ounces St.Germain liqueur
Splash grapefruit juice
1 ounce Michelle Brut champagne

Mix St. Germain and juice over ice, shake and strain into cocktail glass. Top with champagne.

Relais de Paris
734 State St.
(805) 963-6077 or www.relaisdeparis-santabarbara.com

DRINK OF THE WEEK: The Press Room’s Bloody Mary

Photo by Nik Blaskovich

Photo by Nik Blaskovich

With Father’s Day around the corner, it’s always a good question: What makes a good cocktail for Dad? Are we talking about something manly? Something nostalgic? Something that smells like Old Spice? We here at Drink of the Week come from a background of our dads drinking beer and maybe a shot of Jameson, and that is far from the world of mixology. They may be old-fashioned, but they’ve probably never had an Old Fashioned. You know what I mean?

Anyway, a stop by The Press Room sorted it out. Chris Rodriguez, bartender here for many a year, has a drink that dads love, and one that he brought back from a stay in Austin, Texas. It’s simple but effective: Combine Guinness with a bloody mary. No, the stout does not replace the vodka in the usual recipe … it adds to it. And it magically takes the bite out of the vodka, while leaving the spice. How is such a thing possible? Mr. Rodriguez testifies to one girl calling up her dad to get him to come down and try the drink. (He did.) It’s also a cocktail that, once someone orders it, the rest of the bar suddenly wants to try. So, treat your father to this clever cocktail when you see him. No need to special order the drink at The Press Room: It’s just known as the Bloody Mary here.

THE PRESS ROOM BLOODY MARY
3 ounces pepper-flavored vodka (preferably Absolut)
1 ounces tomato juice
Dash horseradish sauce
Dash salt
Dash celery salt 1/2 lime, squeezed
Dash pickle juice
1 1/2 ounces Guinness

Add ingredients except beer over ice in shaker. Top with beer, then shake. Pour contents into pint glass and garnish with pickled beans and olive.

THE PRESS ROOM
15 E Ortega St.
(805) 963-8121