Spirited winners announced

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the 2021 Canadian Artisan Spirit awards have been announced by Artisan Distillers of Canada.

It's time to get creative with a cocktail for your beloved or your household bubble this weekend.

Our province did well. The Spirit of the Year comes from Ampersand Distilling in Duncan for its Nocino, made from green walnuts -- their husks steeped in wheat spirit -- with a mix of spices to round it out, but the Okanagan was well represented.

Notably are several Best in Class winners from distilleries in the B.C. interior (and therefore, nearby). In the Creston Valley, Wynndel Craft Distilleries makes some curious products, including its Apple Brandy, gold medal best in class winner in the brandy category.

In the contemporary gin category, Oliver’s Dubh Glas Distillery tied for gold, with distinction, for its Navy Strength Noteworthy Gin, for its best in class showing.

Dubh Glas also won gold for its Noteworthy New Western Dry Gin, gold with distinction for its Fire in the Sky single malt whisky, and gold for its Smoke on the Water single malt.

Summerland’s Alchemist Distiller had an excellent showing: a silver with distinction for its Absinthe, its contemporary gin, and Nectar, a fruit liqueur, and silver for Mr. Fox, a contemporary vodka.

Indigenous World Distilling in Kelowna was awarded a bronze for its contemporary gin and another for a contemporary vodka.

The distilleries of the Naramata Bench are always multiple medal winners, and this year is no exception.

Legend Distilling won gold in the amaro or vermouth category for its Naramaro, gold for Manitou, a fruit liqueur, silvers for its Honey Moon Gin and Wyatt Whisky, and a bronze for its Doctor’s Orders Gin.

Tumbleweed Spirits in Osoyoos was awarded a silver for its Midnite Brandy, a bronze with distinction in the classic vodka category, and a bronze for its Raspberry Moonshine.

Kudos to Maple Leaf Spirits for multiple Merit in Terroir mentions, as they source the fruits for their products from growers in and around Penticton, clearly showing off the terroir of the region.

They also won gold medals for their Kirsch, Lady of the Cask brandy, Pear Williams, and Cherry Liqueur.

While traditionally many of us lean toward a sparkling wine for Valentine’s Day, there are numerous ingredients here to create a signature Okanagan cocktail of your own while supporting local distillers.

Best to check out their websites for availability and sales in-person or online, and perhaps a recipe or two for inspiration.

The full list of national winners can be found here: https://artisandistillers.ca/2021-results


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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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