Grand Poppy Liqueur
Oh, those crazy kids at Hi-Time WIne Cellar in Costa Mesa! When I tweeted out I was in the market for a new aperitif, they suggested Grand Poppy Liqueur. How did they know that just a day before, I had tasted it at Pizzeria Ortica, immediately fell in love with it, and announced to no one in particular, "Man, I gotta go to Hi-Time soon so I could get a bottle of the stuff!" Are they Matrix-ing me or something? CRAZY!
Bottled by Greenbar Craft Distillery in Los Angeles, this is a drink that my late, great amigo Huell Howser would've loved, and not just because of its name, its Jazz Age-style font, and the big ol' poppy that serves as the logo. All the botanicals used to make Grand Poppy are organic and California-raised, and Greenbar pledges to plant a tree for every bottle sold. But nice intentions are good and all--how about the taste? Spectacular.
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It's the Golden State in a shot glass: amber-colored, slightly think, sweet but zingy, and more complex than you'd think. OC's better bartenders already have a bottle in their collection, and I'm sure most of them are incorporating it into their arsenal, but Grand Poppy is a drink that screams to be sipped neat before a massive meal. Or, better yet, in the morning--it's only 40 proof, so will merely give you the pickup necessary to go kick ass for the rest of the day. So...can you top this, Mr. Hi-Time? I know you can!