Gluten-free Vodka – There’s probably someone — maybe several people — on your holiday gift list this year who enjoy spirits. Everyone has his or her favourite categories and producers, but true amateurs like to branch out and try something different. Sometimes it’s a new brand, other times it’s a limited release from their favourite distillery. For this year, why don’t you opt for something local and surprise your loved ones for Christmas.
This year I had a chance to taste a variety of local products including gins and diverse liqueurs. My coup de coeur was Artist in Residence Distillery. This is an avant garde artisanal distillery located in Gatineau, Quebec. They possess the largest production capacity in Canada in their category and all their products are sourced from local ingredients.
As Outaouais’ first micro-distillery, Artist in Residence abides by the principles of artisanal distillation. It starts with dealing with sourcing a local supplier for the primary raw material: corn. Family-owned Desjardins farm, located only a few kilometers from the distillery. The Desjardins farm has been cultivating the grains for five generations.
Inspired by mavericks and free thinkers, Artist in Residence seeks to provoke passions and assert itself as the craft distillery for renegades. After three years of determination and hard work and nearly $ 5 million in investment, entrepreneur Pierre Mantha’s dream has comes true.
Artist in Residence Distillery
Vodkalight. SAQ # 13827269, $39.25.The first Canadian grain-to-glass light vodka and gluten-free. Made from boreal spring water and 100% Canadian corn. 30% alcohol. Best served ice cold, This vodka is smooth and creamy on the palate with floral and citrus notes in the finale. Drink on its own or with chilled oysters.
Waxwing Bohemian Gin. SAQ # 13811110, $39.75. This gin is inspired by the migration route of the waxwing bird. This species , travels across large desert plains as well as small city gardens of Canada and the United States in search of berries to relish.
The Waxwing Bohemian Gin is crafted from 8 fragrances: Juniper berries, coriander, lemon peel, Angelica archangelica, licorice, quassia bark, mountain ash berries and rosehip berries
I am not a gin lover but found this gin to be be fruity and perfumed. Its aroma is reminiscent of a cross between Paco Rabanne and Dolce Gabbana.Creamy with and almost oily texture, it has lovely floral verbena tones with a long and persistent finale reminiscent of confit orange peel. I enjoyed it on its own but the website suggests the waxwing Gin Signature cocktail.
Mayhaven Ginger Liqueur. $33.50 ( Available at the distillery and soon at the SAQ)
Light and sweet, the taste of ginger is quite delicate in this nectar and it has beautiful nuances of lime in the palate. Slightly spicy with savoury notes of ginger candy. I tasted it straight and it was perfect for me. No need for artifice for this kind of product, especially with such a beautiful color (but I would test in a cocktail too).
The Artist in Residence Distillery (or AiR Distillery) is located near the Gatineau Airport, in the heart of the industrial district, in a custom-designed, modern building. For more information
Marco Giovanetti – firstname.lastname@example.org