by TOM FIRTH with LINDA GARSON
While summer in southern Alberta often trickles into September – and if we are lucky, October – we love the warm days and long, slightly cooler evenings. The perfect sort of weather for a G&T, or even to start sipping on a little scotch as well – rocks optional. Here are 5 must-try September spirits.
Collingwood Canadian Whisky – Canada
What better way to finish off another great summer than by enjoying some spicy Canadian whisky? Hailing from Collingwood, Ontario, the nose is full of fiery heat, with Graham crackers, honey, and caramel, while flavours have a slightly maple finish, preceded by a mouth-filling citric fruitiness. Suitable for sipping or for mixing. CSPC+ 765420 About $35.
XFour Bremner’s Blueberry Infused Vodka – British Columbia
This artisanal, all-natural vodka is perfect for prolonging your summer. It’s a bold statement, and super blueberry-ish, as there’s a half-pound of fresh B.C. blueberries in each bottle (shake it before you pour). The vodka is quadruple distilled and filtered three times through charcoal, and you’re tasting blueberries all the way. I really enjoyed it as a “B.C. Mule”, over ice with lime juice and ginger beer – and more blueberries in the glass! CSPC +788976 $36.
Compass Box Great King Street Artist’s Blend Scotch Whisky – Scotland
Certainly a premium blended whisky, it’s clean, versatile, and calls to mind spice and cider apple, with a very light toffee nose. A blend of Lowland grain whisky and Highland malt, it’s unfiltered and has no added colouring, meaning you can enjoy the light vanilla, toasty, and salty caramel flavours the way they were meant to be. CSPC +746290 About $45.
Park Gin – Banff, Alberta
Although I rarely get to (over)indulge in gin, I love the stuff, all those intense aromatics, and the simplicity-nay-perfection of a gin and tonic on a nice day can’t be beat. Park’s gin utilizes a number of locally sourced botanicals from around Banff National Park, including spruce tips lending a small, but perfect difference to some other gins. Full, oily, and aromatic, bring on the G&T. CSPC +781550 About $48.
Babička Original Wormwood Vodka – Czechoslovakia
This Czech vodka is infused with wormwood – much like wormwood’s most famous product – absinth. Wormwood, and its active ingredient thujone, have a long and storied history with some benefits found in natural remedies. The vodka itself has a mild citrus and herbal aroma, with flavours of caramel, wormwood (naturally), and anise. Would really lend itself to some citrusy cocktails for sure. CSPC +774131 About $26.