The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2016

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may 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  99 The couple came up with the liqueur after years of foraging for ingredients on L.A.'s countless mountain hiking trails, particularly those in Griffith Park, the city's giant, untamed verdant jewel. Grand Poppy's combination of floral, citrusy and bittersweet notes make it an excellent addition to cocktails, including the Griffith, dubbed "L.A.'s Signature Cocktail." In addition to the Grand Poppy, Greenbar produces the Fruitlab brand of organic liqueurs, with California-inspired flavors like orange, hibiscus and ginger. Making a California orange liqueur was natural and a point of pride, say Khosrovian and Mathew, as the state grows the vast majority of the country's table oranges. "If we couldn't make a killer orange liqueur with all the fresh oranges that grow around us, then we should quit," says Khosrovian. Greenbar's unique take on an orange liqueur calls for fresh zest from three kinds of oranges (sweet, sour and bitter). "Unlike almost all other distilleries, we have year-round access to fresh oranges," says Khosrovian, "and fresh always tastes better than dried peel." The two other Fruitlab liqueurs are Greenbar's culinary ode to the city's food scene. Hibiscus, a boozy take on the ubiqui- tous jamaica-flower agua fresca found in Mexican restaurants around town, is a velvety concoction whose floral-berry notes pair perfectly with everything from tequila and mezcal to rum, sparkling wine and vanilla ice cream. The spicier Fruitlab Ginger pulls no punches. It presents not only the aroma and flavor but also the heat of real ginger to spirits lovers' palates weaned on L.A.'s Japanese, Indian, Thai and Chinese hole-in-the-wall, make-you-cry restaurants. "To us, these flavors represent the culinary culture and heritage of Los Angeles.," Khosrovian says. "We don't have to dream these things up; they're in the fabric of our city." —J. H. D. Griffith ★ 1 oz. TRU Garden vodka ★ 1 oz. Grand Poppy Organic Aperitive ★ 1 oz. lemon juice ★ 1 oz. simple syrup ★ 3 cucumber slices Muddle cucumber, add rest, shake and strain into coupe. Garnish with a cucumber wheel. GREENBAR DISTILLERY

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