How to drink like a Canadian

Raise a glass to our home and native land. Check out this list of beverages that pour from various regions of Canada as compiled for Canada Food Day (canadafoodday.com).

•  Tap water

•  Milk & Kefir – lots of brands from which to choose.

•  Birch Water / Maple Water – the un-reduced sap from the trees.

•  Westholme Canadian Tea – Vancouver Island – our first official tea ‘plantation in the Cowichan Valley

•  Cherry juice from Dwarf Sour Cherries (a.k.a. Prairie Cherries) developed more than 70 years ago at the University of Saskatchewan’s fruit breeding program and also concentrated cherry juice from Cherry Lane in Niagara…great in cocktails.

•  Apple cider and Cranberry Juices  – locally grown and locally pressed.  Terra Beata is one feisty producer, too.  They make pure juices (cranberry, blueberry, sour cherry) from 100 per cent Canadian grown fruit (in Nova Scotia).

•  Craft Beers – See website for various links. Editor’s Note: According to The Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB), an association of 90 plus small, independent brewers located in more than 110 communities across the province, there are more than 250 operating breweries, with an estimated 100 in various planning stages. In addition, Ontario is home to 80 brewpubs and counting.

•  Spirits – Visit the website for various links.

•  Sake – Osake Fraser Valley Junmai – Renaissance…from farm to glass. And with luck you’ll be able to buy some of their rice. Another first for Canada.

•  VQA Ontario Wines / Wines of Nova Scotia – both appellation programs showcase our best. Note that “Cellared in Canada” means that the wine from other countries is not from Canadian grapes and is merely bottled here.

•  Fruit Wines and Ciders – both relatively new on the beverage scene, cider businesses are growing quickly, particularly since some growers have planted orchards that are specific to this industry

•  Maple liqueurs – there are a few distilled, mainly in Quebec, from this very Canadian ingredients…Sortilege is one of the originals but check out Domaine Kildare’s La Crème and Domaine Acer, which distills maple sap and Deep Roots Distillery (PEI) that makes an east coast version of maple liqueur.

•  Bitters – best known are B.C.’s Bittered Sling.

•  Kombucha …check out Live and Rise, both excellent Canadian brands.