Canadian Spirits Review

Whisky, you say?

Canadians are renowned for producing some of the world’s best whisky variations yet many don’t know that other spirits are being distilled in Canada with amazing results. Stephen Beaumont and Christine Sismondo provides us with insights into the historical progression of distilleries in Canada – from Indigenous manipulation of local plants, to the rum production from imported molasses in the early 1800’s, to the burgeoning settlers utilizing plant waste for alcoholic beverages, and the uptick of the main whisky players in later 19th century.

One statistic would rival the ubiquitous coffee from Timmy’s consumption of today…in the mid-1800’s, “there was one tavern for roughly every 300 people…and, instead of coffee, people drank spirits – roughly 25 litres of absolute alcohol per adult per year – over twice as much as we drink now.” Of course, this led to huge societal problems which brought in the prohibition period.

Provinces differed in the longevity of this period with PEI lasting 47 years as a dry province while Quebec didn’t even bother with the concept of prohibition. Then the wars moved spirit production to medicinal alcohol properties for use in treating soldiers on the front lines. This eliminated many of the small producers leaving the 5 giants of distillers that we all know today.

Once the pandemic is behind us and we’re travelling across our great country again, tuck this book into your suitcase. Take a detour off the beaten track and
discover some of these wonderful distilleries, the amazing people that produce their great product, and have a wee taste or two – you’ll be amazed! And try one of the drinks the author has come up with in our Recipe section.

For more information on the authors, go to and Christine Sismondo at

To purchase your own copy (to tuck into that suitcase!), head over to Nimbus Publishing at

You can also win a copy of the book at our Giveaway tab!

Reprinted with permission from Nimbus Publishing. From Canadian Spirits by Stephen Beaumont and Christine Sismondo ©2019

And to help you get started with mixing your drinks, ¾ OZ Tonic of Montreal is providing a Deluxe Cocktail Mix kit and ¾ oz measuring pour in our giveaway
. Each of the bottles can serve up to 6 drinks, for a total of 30 drinks per kit. Gift set includes instructions on the back of the box as well as on each bottle.

They provide the following tips for making a great cocktail:

¾ oz is the amount you will need to prepare what will become your best cocktail.
In a glass full of ice:

– ¾ oz of tonic, ginger cola, honey sour, or spritz syrup
– 1 ¼ oz of your favourite spirit
– 2-3 oz of sparkling water

For more great products and recipes, check out