Liquor licenses are a precious commodity in Santa Barbara. Ask any restaurateur or bar owner and they’ll tell you the trials and tribs to get one, including the lottery system, the wait and the cash outlay. (Compare the affordable beer and wine license offered in town.) But fortunately, when an eatery like Scarlett Begonia gets one, it makes it worth its weight (and wait). More than any bar we’ve been to recently, the folks at Scarlett Begonia are bringing in an eclectic selection of liquor and liqueurs, and also sourcing local ingredients when possible.
Proprietor Crista Fooks and Kentucky transplant David Byrd have combined their love of old cocktail books and new trends, and come up with a fantastic cocktail list (there’s even cocktails for the morning shift, including the Liquid Breakfast).