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5 Deliciously Unique Cocktails To Try in Santa Barbara

Written by Sofia Deeb

Photo by Jon Premosch

After a year of being cooped up inside, I’m sure we’re all in need of a little something to lift our spirits (pun intended). What better remedy is there than a night out in beautiful Santa Barbara? This summer, however, we’re doing away with tradition—especially when it comes to cocktails. We’ve rounded up five of the most unique cocktails in the city that’ll be sure to excite. From curry spice to habañero infusion, these cocktails are anything but ordinary.

Pearl Social

Photo by Silas Fallstich

What to order: Rosie’s Cantina

What’s in it: Tamarind Tequila, Lime, Mango, Curry Spice

Pearl Social is most known for its charming aesthetic and vibrant music scene, but open up a menu and you’ll discover that they also have an unmatched lineup of unique cocktails. One drink that stands out right off the bat is Rosie’s Cantina. Many people would probably agree that there’s no better way to spice things up than with a delicious curry dish, but few would think to put this flavor in a drink. Of course, that’s few other than the bartenders at Pearl Social. This distinctive mix of tequila, lime, mango, and curry spice is sure to be unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.

El Encanto Bar

What to order: Las Casitias

What’s in it: Pineapple-habañero infused tequila, cointreau, citrus, vanilla, pomegranate

It’s not too often that you stumble upon a cocktail that comes with a spice warning—that is, unless you’re at the bar located at El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel. At the El Encanto Bar you’ll find a wide selection of unique, handcrafted cocktails, including several specialty spicy drinks that are sure to pack a punch. The Las Casitias features a unique blend of citrus, vanilla, and pomegranate flavors, but it doesn’t stop there. Pineapple-habañero infused tequila tops it all off, making this a cocktail that bites back.

Djinn Library Bar at Hotel Californian

Photo by Silas Fallstich

What to order: Just Chai Me

What’s in it: Lairds Apple Jack, Rittenhouse Rye, Chai Syrup

Aside from its gorgeous setting in the heart of The Funk Zone, Hotel Californian also boasts an incredible lineup of dining options, including the Djinn Library Bar. This eccentric yet chic spot features cocktails with a Moroccan twist. Among them is Just Chai Me, a drink with a name that’s almost as clever as its ingredients. The combination of Lairds Apple Jack, Rittenhouse Rye, and chai syrup mixes sweet and spicy flavors for a fun twist on the traditional tea.

The Imperial

What to order: Reilly’s Kitchen

What’s in it: New Amsterdam Gin, Fennel Simple Syrup, Fresh Grapefruit Juice

If you’ve got an adventurous soul and a knack for trying new things, Goleta’s Jazz and Blues lounge, The Imperial, is calling your name. This tiki-inspired bar is a local favorite, thanks to its friendly atmosphere and one-of-a-kind cocktails. Reilly’s Kitchen is certainly one pick worth mentioning. This drink features an unlikely, yet pleasant, combination of grapefruit and fennel.

Manor Bar at Rosewood Miramar Beach

Photo by Jon Premosch

What to order: Marching Men

What’s in it: Eagle Rare Bourbon Whiskey, Cinnamon-Maple Syrup, Luxardo Cherry, Aromatic Bitters, Applewood Smoke

It's no mystery why Rosewood Miramar Beach is one of the Central Coast’s greatest gems. From its stunning ocean views to its countless dining and entertainment options, this resort truly has it all. The good news is, you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy all that it has to offer. Stop by the Manor Bar during your next night out in Montecito and experience its sophisticated surroundings and cleverly handcrafted cocktails, which are all named after classic books. The Marching Men is just one pick from the bar’s exquisite assortment. This drink combines warm, smoky flavors with vibrant, fruity ones for a mix that’s a real treat.


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