Today's cocktail is designed to warm you up as those cold days of winter start to settle in. Chai is a type of tea that is made using Indian spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger. This gives it an amazing aroma that will fill your house with the smell of sweet spice, perfect for the holiday season. Chai can be made with hot water, if you want to remove the dairy from this recipe, but I think the warm milk gives it a nostalgic vibe, so we kept it in.
We chose Sailor Jerry as a spiced rum, mainly because I like the label, and it reminded me of going south. Any good spiced rum would work, and if you're looking for a local alternative, I think the Northern Comfort from Sussex Distilllers would be great.
This video was a short one, and I promise some of our cocktails will be more involved, but like we promised in the beginning, this series is for everyone. The holidays can be very hectic, with travel, family, food, drink, parties, more travel, and on and on. This tea cocktail is perfect for after a day out skating or sliding with the kids, or shoveling the snow off the roof to make way for Santa.
If you like this series, let us know by liking and sharing the videos on Facebook and YouTube, and leaving a comment. We'd love to hear from you.
Earlier this year I was introduced to an awesome new company in Moncton producing kombucha, VALK Fermentation. Kombucha is a fermented, non-alcoholic, tea that is usually fruit flavoured and contains probiotics, making it a gut-healthy drink. Pairing the fruitiness of the kombucha with the herbal flavours of Gin Thuya, from our friends up North at Distillerie Fils Du Roy, is a great way to enjoy this twist on a cranberry gin fizz.
We promised to keep it super easy, and here it is, gin and juice. Kombucha is an interesting product that is growing in popularity. It is fermented contains some alcohol, although the alcohol content is very low (usually <1%), which is why you see it being sold in grocery stores. It's slightly acidic and can be sweet or dry, depending on the choice of the brewer. Kombucha is alive, in the same way that quality yogurts and other fermented foods are alive and this is where its healthy, probiotic properties are found.
Gin is one of my favourite spirits. All the different flavours and botanicals are something I've been enjoying for a little while now. That's why some of these cocktails are so simple. I like to let the flavour of the spirit come through.
Let us know what you think of this cranberry cocktail and if you have tried kombucha and have any favourite brands. We'd love to hear from you.
We kick off this 12 Cocktails of Christmas series on the first day of winter with a Dark and Stormy made with El Dorado rum and Chill St gingerbeer. Since we're not just kicking off the series, but also celebrating the first day of Winter, we wanted something extra bold and spicy to get us going. Eric suggested using orange instead of lime, which was amazing, and he made a demerara and molasses syrup as the sweetener.
I was so excited when Eric agreed to join me on this adventure. We've known each other for a few years from the restaurant and event industry, but we hadn't had the chance to work together in the past. This first video was a challenge as we fell into our rhythm, but I think we get better as the process goes on.
I was also excited to be able to use this series to explore some new spirits and cocktails, and play with some classics. This Dark and Stormy definitely comes out as one of my top faves of the whole series, but I can't wait to find out what you think of the cocktails we've selected to take us all into the New Year.
If you like this series, let us know by liking and sharing the videos on Facebook and YouTube, and leaving a comment. We'd love to hear from you.
If you've been to ANBL recently you may have noticed a new section at the front of most stores featuring a wide range selection of New Brunswick products. There are quite a few distilleries popping up around NB these days, so I wanted to fill you in on three to keep watching. You're probably familiar with Snowfox and Blue Roof vodkas, but there are more craft distillers on the scene! I've been lucky enough to visit a few of these distilleries over the past year or so, including Winegarden Estate, Sussex Distillers, Moonshine Creek, Fils du Roy, Devil's Keep, and Gagetown Distillery.
Sussex Distillers opened in December 2017. Their main products are an un-aged rum made using Crosby's molasses and Northern Comfort, a maple shine. Both are best served as cocktails and the Ward's Creek packs a punch! They've also released a line of flavoured liqueurs including an electric blue, Blue Raspberry (I see an updated Purple Haze in my near future).
Moonshine Creek opened in August 2018, producing grain-based, un-aged "whiskies". They made waves this winter by partnering with Ganong Bros. and creating a Chicken Bones liqueur that had New Brunswickers lining up outside liquor stores trying to buy a bottle. Moonshine Creek experiments with all kinds of flavoured products and their mason jar packaging just screams rural NB. These spirits are perfect for experimenting with cocktails.
Distillerie Fils Du Roy
Fils Du Roy, located in Northern New Brunswick, has garnered an international reputation for their spirits, in particular their Gin Thuya, which breaks the rules for gin by replacing the juniper berries with indigenous botanicals. They recently released NB's first whisky and are currently constructing NB's first malting house. There are so many cool products available, most only for sale at the distillery. Their tour and tasting are complimentary, and bilingual guides are available.
What is moonshine? (shine, hooch, unaged-...)
Shine is a word that is used to describe any spirit that has been run to a high alcohol proof and does not meet ageing or filtering requirements. Sugar, grain and corn mashes are all very commonly used to distill alcohol. Canadian Whisky must be made of grain and aged a minimum of 3 years in order to have the name whisky applied. In Canada, rum has to be barreled for a minimum of 1 year and be made out of sugar. Vodkas and gins also have their own naming rules.
Why are spirits aged in barrels?
Barreling serves two purposes: it mellows out the flavour as the alcohol extracts lactones from the wood in the barrel, and it also colours the spirit due to the lactones and the charring of the interior of the barrel. Barrels used to make spirits are regularly repurposed for beer casks, other spirits and fortified wines. Barrels are almost always made out of oak, and wood from different regions will impart different flavour profiles.
You can learn more about NB's distilleries by hosting a "Mix-It-Up" in-home Uncorked Tasting. We'll bring everything to you!
Posted by Gilliane Nadeau
What is it?
The Cannabis 101 tour is designed for people curious about cannabis the plant and its effect on culture over the last 5000 years or so. It is NOT a big smoke-up (sorry). We do a deep dive into the evolution and history of cannabis, take a look at the reasons for prohibition, and offer a sensory experience designed to help guests start to identify different terpenes found in cannabis and other natural sources. We explore the relationship between cannabinoids like THC and CBD and our own internal, newly identified, endocannabinoid system. It's absolutely insane what is coming out of research studies now.
Like all our tours, the focus is on flavour, fun and education, while sharing the history and culture of New Brunswick in an engaging, safe and responsible way.
Why focus on science?
Each person is different, and will come to this experience at their own knowledge level. When I explored the options for delivering a fun cannabis experience, science and history is where I knew we could make the greatest impact. By offering up some good old fashioned learning, we hope to meet everyone where they're at in their journey of understanding cannabis-culture.
Over the past couple years, I was able to travel to see what was happening in the legalization and experiential development of cannabis across Canada and US. The best experience I had was with a woman named Murphy in Denver. Her terpenes and extractions course blew my mind and I decided that was type of experience I wanted to offer to our guests. Something that would interest and engage people new to cannabis, and also those who are longtime consumers.
Is cannabis supplied or consumed?
The current legislation in NB is very clear. Any cannabis purchased in New Brunswick must come from a provincial Cannabis NB store. You can find a list of stores here https://www.cannabis-nb.com/stores/
If you choose, there is an opportunity to consume cannabis on this tour, but you must bring your own. Our final stop is a private venue where you receive a beautiful charcuterie board and a terpene tea.
The two wines that I'm really enjoying right now are l'Acadie Blanc and Mascaret. L'Acadie Blanc is a grape that grows very well from New Brunswick, and in some ways is becoming a flagship white wine for our region. It is light-medium bodied, fruity, tropical, crisp, with hints of minerality. The Mascaret is a beautiful red wine blend that is light bodied, also displaying strong fruit character and easy-to-drink.
Both wines can be found at most Superstore and Sobeys locations, and both will be a hit at your next happy hour or dinner party!
As the chilly Winter air nips at your nose, you may reminisce for the days when you could enjoy a cold beer on a patio on a hot summer day. Us too! But here at Uncorked Tours, we don't just hide inside or migrate south for the Fall and Winter months (not yet anyway!). No, we bundle up in our plaid and sweaters and continue to explore Saint Awesome. Today we're sharing our three favourite Uptown Saint John coffee shops.
1. Marjorie's Cafe - 45 Grannan St
Since 2015 Port City Royal has offered East Coast cuisine and artisan cocktails. Now it offers fine quality coffee, pastries, and breakfast foods as Marjorie's Cafe. The same food philosophy that made Port City Royal one of the top new restaurants in Canada when it first opened up, applies to the new Cafe by day concept. Expect fine quality pasties such as creton-filled croissants and a variety of fine coffee. Classic fresh-brewed coffee, pour over, french press, lattes and cappuccinos are just the beginning. Regardless of what you're after, Marjorie's will surely warm you up!
2. Rogue Coffee - 36 Grannan St
In case you haven't already heard, Grannan Alley or "Quality Block" is home to a pretty awesome coffee shop. Located in the alley off of Grannan sits Rogue Coffee. Opening up in September of 2017, Rogue Coffee utilizes the first Mod Bar in Atlantic Canada to make amazing use of their small space. Beyond some amazing brewed coffee, Rogue also offers, Kombucha and Prosecco on tap, as well as offering some amazing homemade, cakes and treats.
3. Java Moose - 84 Prince William St
A Saint John dynasty, Java Moose was the first true coffee enthusiast alternative to Tim Horton's here in Saint John. Starting as a small Coffee Kiosk at McAllister Place Mall in 1996, the original location still remains and has grown to include 3 others, two in the Uptown Core and one in Quispamsis. JavaMoose has always sought out the best coffee and roasted it to perfection. Their small batch roasting technology ensures that every cup is the most exquisite and flavourful coffee you will ever taste. Their commitment starts with sourcing the raw, green beans of only the very highest quality Arabica beans grown by farmers who take care of their product and who take great care of their land.
With more coffee spots popping up, café culture is definitely starting to take off in Saint John. Of notable mention are:
The Stone Soup Café (139 Prince Edward St), offering a java joint just a few blocks from the busy Uptown and near the up-and-come Waterloo Village neighbourhood, and;
BunkHaus Hostel, Café, and TapRoom (36 Water St), offering java, beer, and a place to rest your head. Check out last month's blog post about BunkHaus for more info.
Once you're warmed up consider joining us on an Uncork Saint John adventure, where you will discover the art, history, and people that make Saint Awesome awesome.
Update January 9: I have updated the blog post to include the link to the Facebook Live videos for each wine just in case you missed them the first time around. Cheers!
12 wines for you to enjoy this holiday season
The 12 Days of Christmas aren't when you think they are
It's hard to believe, with the Christmas hubbub getting going as early as October, that the 12 Days of Christmas actually START on December 25th and continue through to January 5th. For the past few years I've seen people do beer advent calendars and 12 days giveaways leading up to the 25th, but what about the ACTUAL 12 days of Christmas? What about the actual 12 days that I'm hanging out with friends and family?
In Christian theology, the 12 days represent the time between the birth of Jesus on Christmas day and Epiphany, which celebrates the arrival of the magi bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The 12 Days of Christmas song
The song that you make think of where a "true love" delivers increasingly exorbitant (and costly) gifts has been around for a few hundred years. It was originally a memory game. The leader would begin, and each player would repeat the growing list of gifts. If someone messed up or forgot a word, they would have to offer up a forfeit, usually a kiss of the cheek.
This facebook video makes an appearance every holiday as my 5-year old self delivers on almost-all 364 gifts.
Wine Shopping List
December 25 - Gillis of Belleisle Cranberry Ceilidh
December 26 - Mott's Landing Vineyard Frontenac Gris
December 27 - Richibucto River Estate Marechal Foch
December 28 - Mott's Landing Vineyard Rosé
December 29 - Crooked Pear Wine by Verger Belliveau Orchard
December 30 - Winegarden Estate Port
December 31 - Mott's Landing Vineyard Classic Brut
January 1 - Magnetic Hill Winery Resurgo Rosé
January 2 - Mott's Landing Vineyard Sabrevois
January 3 - Richibucto River Estate Marquette
January 4 - Happy Knight Crème de Cassis
January 5 - Winegarden Estate Maple Wine
There's a new tap room in town courtesy of Ingrid at Bunkhaus Hostel.
For the past couple of years, Loyalist City Brewing has been working away on Water St. making great beer for our drinking pleasure. They've made a name for themselves with beer like their ever-rotating IPA, their Pink Dwarf sour, and Three Sisters pale ale.
When the brewery started, they had a plan to add their own taproom and patio so customers could sample and buy beer to go. They're still working on that plan, but in the meantime you can now find their beer on tap next door, at Bunkhaus Hostel + Café.
The Bunkhaus Hostel opened on Water St. earlier this year. It is a modern and trendy hostel featuring a bunk room with 16 custom-made beds, as well as a handful of private rooms for short-term rent. It has been tastefully decorated with a good dose of Scandinavian influence, celebrating the heritage of owner, Ingrid.
Saint John continues to serve up gems when it comes to craft beer at unique venues. There are now 5 craft breweries making beer Uptown. And if you have one too many, you can always book a bunk and spend the night.
You may remember us featuring Loyalist City beer earlier this summer as part of our Spirit of New Brunswick series at Martello Tower. You can check out that video here
Check back often for more ways to Uncork New Brunswick this winter, and if you need a little guidance, join one of our winter walking tours Uptown.
This summer we shared a few posts about things to do on Sundays, see below for links. This has been quite a summer in Saint John. So many amazing festivals like AREA 506, Port City Beer Run, Moonlight Bazaar, Culture Week, Marathon by the Sea and the Fringe Festival.
I wanted to take a minute and share these great weekend activities again. Next time you feel like there's nothing to do, take a minute to glance through this list, I'm sure you'll find something you haven't tried yet!
16. Saint's Rest Beach
Head out to the Irving Nature Park for an afternoon of beach combing. Your best bet is to get there as the tide is receding, that way you can be the first to spot what the tide has washed up. This area is significant geologically. The island you see is the remnants of a morraine, a mountain of debris, that was dropped by a retreating glacier 10,000 years ago.
17. Moosehead Small Batch ($)
In case you didn't know, Moosehead is Canada's oldest independent brewery, and this year they launched their small batch craft brewery. Head "over west" to visit the brewery and enjoy a flight of their craft and classic brews. There's no food on site, but you can bring food with you, or have a West side adventure like Chris and I did earlier this summer.
18. Harbour Passage
Harbour Passage is a great place to spend a few hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon. This 2 mile (approx 3.5km) trail runs from the cruise terminals to the Reversing Falls. Along the way you can stop at several ecological pavilions explaining the history and biology of the Saint John Harbour. Keep an eye out for harbour seals, harbour porpoises, and cormorants. You may see even see fishermen catching gaspereau!
19. Revel in the glory
Saint John is home to several historic churches. Take the time to visit a church for a service, or just to enjoy the acoustics and the beautiful stained glass windows. If you don't want to stay for a service, spend some time walking between churches and admiring the detailed architecture.
20. Laser Tag, Mini Putt & Arcade at The Vegas ($), All-you-can eat Fish & Chips ($)
This is actually a ton of fun! Downstairs they have laser tag and mini putt, and upstairs you'll find an arcade including bowling and bumper cars. This indoor amusement centre is licensed and has a restaurant. On Sundays you can enjoy all-you-can eat Fish & Chips for $10.99.
At Uncorked Tours we're all about sharing the fabulous food, wine, beer & spirits being produced in the Province of New Brunswick.
It is our pleasure to share some of the awesome experiences you can have while living or visiting the province.