You would be forgiven if the first thing you thought of “Canadian flavoured vodka” was of a mass-produced cheap liquor, with flavours added after the distillation process.
But the folks at Yukon Brewing want to change that. Last week, they hosted a tasting event atop the High Level Streetcar to introduce Edmonton media, bartenders, liquor store owners and restaurateurs to Solstice, a vodka with strong hints of sage, raspberry and rosehip.
The brewery, located in Whitehorse, has a new German still — and has been able to convert beer distillers into vessels to make spirits. A whisky is on the way, but Yukon’s first entry into Edmonton liquor stores will be the vodka.
We got a chance to sample the vodka aboard the red 1970 German-made streetcar the Edmonton Radial Rail Society salvaged and put into use. In fact, the restoration job they did is so good, the Germans now want the streetcar back, but there’s the matter of a prohibitive six-digit shipping charge to send it back across the ocean.
The sage, raspberries and rosehips are distilled, not flavour additives. And that means the fruity notes are present in the aftertaste, but aren’t dominant or cloyingly sweet. Personally, I find this a nice, smooth vodka to drink with a cube of ice to slightly lower the alcohol percentage, whichs opens up the flavour. Pretty well everyone around me said the first thing they noticed was the sage flavour. I found the fruit was more dominant. You’ll have to decide.
The event was catered by the Manor Bistro, which is introducing a new menu. Chef Alex Sneazwell created some great appetizers, including a vodka soaked Arctic char. The fish was brought in from the Yukon and then kissed with the Solstice.