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Page 68 of 116

SPEED TASTING TEQUILA DEPARTMENT HEADER AT HI-TIME WINE CELLARS IN COSTA MESA, CA, THESE SUGARCANE- BASED SPIRITS GAVE US A Rum Rush T photos by John Merlino HE TASTING PANEL was on the clock once more for a Speed Tasting event, this time inviting nine rum brands to challenge our palates to sip the stuff produced from a perennial grass grown in tropical cli- mates—sugarcane. Rum was used as currency in America’s early days, and as our notes show, these selected brands are still right on the money! Each brand representative had 15 minutes to taste our panel at Hi-Time Wine Cellars, probably the most volume-driven independent retailer in Southern California. Our panel reveled, albeit quickly, in rum. Left to right: Keith Hanson (owner, Hi-Time Wine Cellars, Costa Mesa), Jason Schiff er (owner/mixologist, 320 Main, Long Beach), Forrest Cokely (in-house mixolo- gist, Hi-Time Wine Cellars), Meridith May (Publisher/Executive Editor, THE TASTING PANEL) and Alejandro Pareja (spirits expert, Hi-Time Wine Cellars). 68 / the tasting panel / december 2010

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