Now that we have your attention with Canadian cassis, let's continue with more booze, shall we?
While there are plenty of solid regional wines now gaining attention in Quebec, if you wish to drink something that’s very much in tune with the province’s geography, try iced apple cider.
It’s produced in a similar way to ice wine; the fruit is usually picked in January, when temperatures drop well below 0 °C. The frozen apples are pressed, and the juice is left to cold ferment.
Alternatively, apples may be picked in the late fall, stored for several months, and then pressed. Either way, the result is a bubbly, sweet apple cider with an alcohol content of no less than 7% and no greater than 13% (other regulations surrounding ice cider production can be found here).
On one of our days in Quebec City we visited the old port market, which was packed with local blueberries, garlic, maple syrup, produce, cheese, and of course, all kinds of cider.
We sampled several from Domaine De Lavoie, including one that had been aged in oak for over a year. It tasted like honey and baked apples, the perfect after-dinner drink.
The De Lavoie orchard has 4 hectares of pear trees, 20,000 apple trees, and 72 000 vines over 23 hectares of land.
Justifiably, Canada has a reputation for being cold, so it seems only natural to take advantage of it when it comes to alcohol. Explore Quebec’s wine regions if you have a chance, but be sure to include its orchards, too. Few things, after all, can express the province’s terroir more aptly than its apples....
For this golden drink, Quebec's Coeur de Pirate's "Golden Baby":