New Canadian craft distillers are using indigenous ingredients such as cloudberries and Labrador tea to create scintillating spirits.
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Maybe it’s our British roots, but Canada has become a country of gin connoisseurs.
Aromatic botanicals, which make gin such a unique beverage, were historically added to make cheap alcohol more palatable. While Canada’s new craft distillers still rely on classic coriander and juniper to flavour their spirits, they’re using other indigenous ingredients to create top-drawer gin with a truly Canadian flavour.
Thanks to the current gin craze, it’s martini time from coast to coast to coast. Shaken or stirred, there’s a distinctive distillate for every occasion:
1) Ungava Canadian Premium Gin: Quebec's award-winning Ungava gin relies on wild botanicals collected in the Arctic tundra—cloudberries, crowberries, rose hips and Labrador tea—for its earthy floral flavours and bright yellow colour.
2) STUMP Coastal Forest Gin: This gin from Phillips Fermentorium in Victoria, BC, is flavoured with citrusy fir tips to create an aromatic spirit that tastes like a walk in an old-growth forest. The Fermentorium makes four tasty, natural tonics for killer G&T’s, too.
3) Ampersand Gin: This flavourful gin is the only product made by Ampersand Distilling Company in Duncan, BC. It’s a pure, handcrafted spirit or, as they say, “gin defined.”
5) Loyalist Gin: From the 66 Gilead Distillery in Ontario’s Prince Edward County, this gin is named after the United Empire Loyalists who settled in the region. The gin is flavoured with local hops flowers, coriander and lavender.
6) Spirit Bear Gin: This citrusy award-winning gin from Urban Distilleries in Kelowna, BC, comes in a tall frosted bottle that evokes the rare Spirit Bear.
7) Schramm Organic Canadian Dry Gin: The award-winning gin from Pemberton Distillery is made from local potatoes. It’s a smooth, round spirit flavoured with rosemary, cinnamon bark and hops.
8) Wallflower Gin: Odd Society Spirits is a small-batch BC craft-certified distillery in east Vancouver that uses American white oak rye casks to age their flowery Wallflower gin into this distinctive spirit.
9) Piger Henricus Gin: Although this unusual spirit from The Subversives Distillers in Quebec is flavoured with classic botanicals, one secret ingredient in the mix—parsnips—adds a certain je ne sais quoi.
10) Unfiltered Gin 22: This unfiltered gin made with 22 botanicals is just one of several popular small-batch gins created by Dillon’s Distillers in Ontario’s Niagara region. Others feature sweet gin infusions with rose petals, cherries and strawberries.
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