Back in the day when this cocktail chaser was a young lad, he used to play golf. And being young, he looked forward to the day when a strong 18 holes would end with a celebratory drink at the clubhouse bar. Only later did he realize the shocking facts of life: you can drink at the clubhouse and never raise a club.
That’s what keeps Mulligan’s going after all these years. According to bartender (and owner’s daughter) Melissa Osuna, patrons come from all over for a drink and a meal. The bar is small — four seats — but the happy hour menu is extensive and rather complicated, with special drinks and dishes for each day.
But any day is good for a Bloody Mary. Osuna made one, a simple mix of tomato juice and Seagram’s vodka in a hurricane glass. Heavy dashes of pepper, horseradish and Worchestershire sauce, along with simple garnish, make this a simple, go-to drink, no matter what the weather.
The sangria on offer comes to the menu by way of Melissa’s mother, who insisted it be on there. The wine is Sycamore Lane Merlot, the fruit is a three-citrus combo, and the rest is soda water and Sangria mix. It’s not your usual jar-full-o-citrus and ice punch, but it doesn’t just taste like fruity wine either. Something about the sun beating down on the nearby 18th hole made us appreciate this sunny drink.
Stay out on the links a while and the Santa Barbara Sunburn can be an ironic cocktail to have at the end. Save the pain and go straight for the drink we say, which was raspberry vodka, sweet-and-sour, Sprite and a splash of cranberry. A popular drink — $3.50 on Wednesday’s happy hour — and quite light.
We finished with one of the martinis to be featured in the new menu premiering this week, the Almond Joy (no, we didn’t get to try all seven). The Almond Joy wants to be mistaken for the candy bar, from the brown color (that’s Godiva liqueur, we believe) to the nuts (Frangelica) to the coconut (Malibu rum and a sprinkle of shaved coconut on top). We found the drink sweet and rich. It would go well late in the game.
But for our Drink of the Week, we returned to the simple Sangria. Melissa’s mom got that right, we agreed. You might, too.
1/2 wine glass of Merlot
1/4 glass of soda water
1/4 glass of Finest Call Sangria Mix
Slices of limes, lemons and oranges
Mix all over ice in large wine glass.
3500 McCaw Ave.