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.
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!