Santa Barbara: Honor Bar
You know what you should do during the 2 hours between a wedding ceremony at one gorgeous Santa Barbara location and a wedding reception at another gorgeous Santa Barbara location? Obviously, the answer is to swing by Honor Bar in downtown Montecito. Again, how do you beat drinks on a sunny Saturday in this Mediterranean style cocktail bar? You don’t. You just embrace it and try not to think about the fact that life in Santa Barbara just seems too divine to be real. But, oh wait, it is.
While Santa Barbara makes you think that all of life there is magical for everyone, Montecito, its neighbor to the South ups the ante even more. It’s so beautiful and cozy, making you think, “We could live here. I could definitely see it,” until you realize that the price tag for one of the homes you can actually see (most are engulfed by shrubs) has far too many zeros attached to it. Regardless, you can commiserate about not being able to ever live in Montecito with some fabulous cocktails at the Honor Room.
What We Ordered
Negroni: distillery no. 209 gin, campari, punt e mes vermouth, rocks
Elder Collins: bombay sapphire, st. germain, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
Jackrabbit: herradura reposado tequila, campari, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, house-made sweet & sour, mint
The Crush: belvedere vodka, fresh grapes, basil
Paloma: herradura reposado tequila, freshly squeezed grapefruit, lime juice
What We Thought
We loved the Honor Room’s straightforward menu and most especially loved their tables that blew heat. This wasn’t necessary as it was in the upper 60s, but we loved it nonetheless. How and why did this not exist when we lived in Boston? We also are big fans grapefruit, but in the off chance that you’re not, your choices here would be quite limited.
The Paloma and Elder Collins were fresh, no-fuss afternoon options. We give them a solid ‘well-done,’ but they didn’t stand out in any other way. We ordered The Crush because it reminded us of the Tears of Chios, and the crush was definitely good and won points for creativity; but it mainly reminded us that the Tears of Chios is even better. The Negroni was solid, and definitely gets our silver medal for the day. The Punt e Mes vermouth with its bitter, more distinctive touch really did make a difference. The winner of the afternoon outing, though, was by far the Jackrabbit, with the entire drink embodying the sweet and sour vibe so well. It reminded us that campari does not need to be married to gin (when, oh when, will we learn this?).