So you forgot to buy Christmas presents in time for Amazon to deliver—PENDEJO! Thankfully, Mr. Hi-Time is ever-forgiving, and forever welcomes you to his aisles of boozy delights. I was at the Costa Mesa cathedral to see his new releases recently, and Dry Rye Reposado Gin caught my attention because it dared combine two of my favorite drinks into one bottle. It’s an offering of St. George Spirits, the pioneering California distillers, but still: rye turned into gin, then aged in wine barrels? HERESY! But Mr. Hi-Time has never guided me wrong, so I bought a bottle, opened it at Weekly World Headquarters, and drank.
It’s a spicy meatball at 99-proof, but it’s wonderful: herbal, sharp, woodsy, and sweet at the end. St. George Dry Rye Reposado Gin would make a killer Negroni, but the true mark of a great gin is how it goes neat, and it’s 100. Gentle readers: Here’s your Christmas gift for the gin man (or gal, or gender-fluid) in your family. And Mr. Hi-Time: keep ‘em coming!
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Hi-Time Wine Cellar, 250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463; www.hitimewine.net