Within the first few months of COVID isolation, it was fun to have a daily late afternoon cocktail hour. All we need is ice and vodka or gin and a jar of good olives. As time wore on, we consumed more alcohol than ever before. Until one day we said, “Hold it. What’s going on?” As we find ourselves becoming mildly alcohol dependent, enter two spirits distillers who are on the cutting edge of what we need, and just in time…
While the cocktail hour has been inching earlier and earlier, and we’re saying, “Well, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” here’s something to think about. Two savvy business-folks, Chris Lund, Chief Creative Officer of Fluid Assets Inc (also CEO of Perennial, the largest strategy and design firm in Canada) and Jakob Ripshtein (ex Pres. of Diageo) now CEO of Fluid Assets Inc., have created a company that offers us the latest brand of spirits for our consideration: 18.8 Gin and 18.8 Vodka. The name tells us that our favourite spirits contain only 18.8 % alcohol. What does that mean? Lower calories and rarely a hang-over. These executives have done their due diligence and are right on trend with 18.8 spirits. Most of the products in our pantry and fridge have the added word “Light.” Now that concept has spilled over to the bar just in time to meet the evolving needs of consumers. These spirits are handcrafted in small batches in the Niagara Region. Buy local. fluidassets.ca
“It’s the same Martini, but with a caress rather than a punch,” I say. Stratford, ON, possibly the prettiest town in the Ontario, is the home of many unique and wondrous creations. The newest is Sobrii 0-Gin, Canada’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, made from classic Gin botanicals including juniper, coriander, all spice and star anise. It is vegan, distilled and bottled in clear glass. And more good news. Sobrii has 0 calories, 0 sugar, 0 artificial flavours and sweeteners. Now, before you try it, you might wink and say it has 0 taste. Au contraire, folks. All the natural flavours blossom with the addition of their secret ingredient: local Ginseng. Try this with any Gin cocktail recipes, or fix yourself one of my favorites. sobrii.ca
1.5 oz. Sobrii 0-Gin
0.5 oz Cranberry Juice
3 oz. Double Dutch Premium Indian Tonic Water
3 strawberries (sliced)
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper.
- Fill glass with ice and strawberries. Add Gin, cranberry juice and tonic water. Add pepper. Stir. Serve chilled on the rocks.
Sara Waxman is an award-winning restaurant critic, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and has eaten her way through much of the free world for four decades, while writing about it in books, newspapers and magazines. She is the Editor in Chief of DINE and Destinations magazine.