Sippin' on Summer

Summer has been on our minds since Winter reared its chilly head a short time ago. With the pandemic fading ever so slowly into the rear-view mirror, many of us are making plans to get out to visit or go away on a little vacation. The cost of living increases might put a damper on things, so this month, we tried to find a few bottles that taste just as good at home on a hot day in a mixed drink or a cocktail (break out the blender for that shaved ice), as well as a few Canadian-made whiskies which will hit the spot as the sun dips down while the bonfire is just getting started.


Bearface Wilderness Series Matsutake Release 01, Canada

A wild (no pun intended- or maybe it is…) whisky showing off a rather unique and inspired ingredient. BC sourced, and quite scarce Matsutake mushrooms. Initially, the nose shows off with mild spicy tones but a pungent, clean, almost rustic character from the mushrooms which towards the finish lends a richness, a textural, earthy close to a fine, well-balanced spirit. Something special, and something very new under the sun.  


CSPC +864054 On most shelves for around $55-60 

Nickel 9 Distillery Island Diaz Spiced Rum, Canada

A fine example of modern, low sweetness spiced rum coming from the Nickel 9 Distillery. Spicy and rife with molasses and gingerbread notes with a lingering, bitter finish that ties it all together, it’s the right sort of rum to elevate mixers without making things saccharine or unbalanced. Would work very well in a rum punch, or even to take things in a different direction in a mojito or slushy drink.

CSPC +867153 $46-48


Kalani Coconut Liqueur, Mexico


We don’t cover a lot of liqueurs on these pages, but this summer, we love to encourage people to enjoy the sunshine, and if an actual, for-real beach vacation isn’t in the cards, it’s a good time to break out the blender and make some pina coladas in the backyard. Kalani is a very sweet liqueur, but tip to toes it’s all about intense but clean, lightly toasted coconut flavours with a rum base which will definitely dial up your umbrella drinks.

CSPC +793313 Around $35.00

Signal Hill Canadian Whisky, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

Light, rounded, and uber smooth, Signal Hill is made from double-distilled corn whiskey and pot-distilled barley whiskey, each bringing its own characteristics before developing more complex flavours from three-barrel aging: new White Oak Casks, first-run Bourbon Casks, and Canadian Whiskey Casks all play their part too, resulting in a whiskey that’s deliciously sweet, with brown sugar, granola, and pecan flavours. Just drink and enjoy it – all of it - it’s that easy!


CSPC +800776 $39-45


Ardbeg Distillery Ardcore, Isle of Islay, Scotland


What can I say? If we share a sense of humour (and maybe origin/longevity) you’ll agree that this is the funniest and most memorable marketing you’ve seen in decades! OMG is this clever - a special, very limited release to celebrate Ardbeg Day 2022, made with roasted black malt - an unconventional choice and a first for Ardbeg – and producing an oily whisky with fruity orange and pineapple notes, along with dark chocolate and, of course, plenty of smoke. Pick a night, dress punk with your mates – and drink Ardcore in style!

CSPC +866203 Around $170-180

Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale Gin, London, England

We’ve been waiting for a year for this to arrive in Canada, and now this gin-based spirit from Tanqueray is here in time for summer! Distilled with four classic London Dry botanicals - juniper, coriander, angelica, and liquorice, along with added French blackcurrants, vanilla, and wait for it… black orchid - you’ll find a fruity, rich and viscous, cocktail pretty much ready in your glass – just add ice, or top up with tonic water and lemon, or sparkling wine for a super easy and summery Kir Royale and French 75.

CSPC +862079 $32-35