08 april 2013

Ungava Gin a winner at recent World Spirits Competition


Image courtesy of Domaine Pinnacle
Ungava Canadian Premium Gin

Ungava Canadian Premium Gin was honoured with “Best in Show” at the recent World Spirits Competition held in Austria. Last summer it took home two “Excellent” scores from New York City at the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge. 

The stand-out yellow liquid, in the bottle with the Inuktitut writing on it, is growing in popularity and developing a new generation of gin drinkers around the world. 

The idea began in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, with the proprietors of Domaine Pinnacle.  The ice-cider producers had moved into beverages using local maple syrup, and then they began thinking about gin.

A taste of the tundra

The name, which means towards the open water, comes from the northernmost area of the province of Quebec, as do the ingredients.  Botanicals such as Labrador Tea, Nordic juniper, crowberry and cloudberry combine with wild rose hips in a distinct aroma, flavour and colour.  In a recent interview in Maclean’s, one of Canada's national magazines, Pinnacle president, Charles Crawford offered a very candid description of the colour, “It’s a bit like morning’s vitamin-enriched urine.”  “Sunshine yellow” is the preferred description of others.

Ungava Gin makes for some interesting cocktails; a Midnight Sun or a Northwest Passage evoke its origins adding a slice and a squeeze of grapefruit to the first, and Cointreau and Thai basil syrup among a few other ingredients, to the second.

Here in Canada, the introduction to this home-grown winner is limited at the moment to the provinces of Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.  Canada’s inter-provincial trade regulations are being taken on one at a time by the producers, and eventually the gin that’s a hit in Hong Kong, and was just welcomed in Iceland, will be available across the country that produces it.

Carmel Kilkenny spoke with Charles Crawford, president of Domaine Pinnacle to find out more about the origin and response to Ungava Canadian Premium Gin:
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