Thursday, September 13, 2018

DRINK OF THE WEEK: Dilly Dally's Carrot Spice Latte

Pouring up a mug full of fall

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 4:00 AM

  • Lenny Mullins

“There’s just this biological thing, you feel a little crispness overnight and it’s like, ‘I need something a little soothing, a warm hug. It’s like our version of hygge or something,” says Laura Draeger of the tendency to usher in autumn (sometimes prematurely) with a little bit of nutmeg. Or, you know, pumpkin spice season.
The owner of Dilly Dally Eats says her staff made a choice to pass on the PSL in the first fall the cafe was open, but still wanted to cater to the sweet drink crowd. “We got together and were like, what gets us excited about fall?”

Among the ideas bounced around by the baristas, pastry chef and kitchen staff were carrots, and more importantly carrot cake. “So we busted out my juicer. The idea was basically to bottle carrot cake.” Out of that came the now beloved (and served all year round) Carrot Spice Latte. With fresh carrot juice, cinnamon, nutmeg—that traditional seasonal spicing—Dilly Dally’s baristas have perfected the syrup that makes the CSL special—Draeger calls the drink a total team effort. “That’s the thing with this drink, and everything we do at Dilly Dally, it’s real food.”
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Seedlip's here in spirit

Seedlip’s game-changing, distilled non-alcoholic spirits are coming to Halifax.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 3:46 AM


The world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits are set to make their east coast
debut this week at the first Drink Atlantic Cocktail Festival—and they’re guaranteed to stir up some debate, and great-tasting beverages. But who’s behind all of this and what does it mean for cocktail culture?

Established in 2015, UK-based distilling company Seedlip was born in founder Ben Branson’s kitchen out of a desire to capture the essence of the natural world. By removing the initial alcohol necessary for flavour extraction from his distillates post-extraction and forgoing fermentation, Branson has effectively created a remedy to “rid the world of horribly fruity mocktails.” Today, Seedlip products are available in 17 countries, served by Michelin-starred restaurants and offered at many of the world’s top 50 cocktail bars.

“It’s definitely sparking a conversation around how much alcohol people need to drink, and why can’t we cater to people who, for whatever reason, don’t want an alcoholic drink,” says Branson.

And with two refreshing spirit offerings, Seedlip is catering no doubt. Garden 108, an herbal blend of hand-picked peas and traditional garden herbs pairs wonderfully with simple tonic and garnish, lending its spearmint, rosemary and thyme base to a clean tasting beverage. Spice 94, an aromatic and complex blend of all spice, bark and citrus makes for a great NoGroni (Seedlip’s alcohol-free take on Negroni). And it’s not just alcohol that’s missing, Seedlip products are also free of sugar, calories, sweetener, artificial flavours and allergens.

However, the brand is by no means pushing a restrictive beverage agenda, rather it offers balance in a world of extremes. “We believe in the power of amazing flavour and wonderful experiences—that’s possible with a non-alcoholic cocktail and a low-alcohol content,” says Branson whose search for equilibrium-inspired Nolo: Seedlip’s two-night international pop-up bar event, featuring beverages with an alcohol content of no to low in 15 major cities (including Toronto) beginning July 24.

With a new Seedlip product set to hit the Canadian market later this year, Branson is “just scratching the surface of what’s possible with non-alcoholic cocktails.” Canadian ambassador for Seedlip, Sarah Parniak, will be in town for Drink Atlantic Cocktail Festival this weekend—Branson will there in spirit. (And for those not attending the event, you can find Seedlip at Pete's on Dresden Row.) He hopes his vision for more (and better) drink options will be embraced on the east coast.

“I enjoy giving people in the industry a new approach to thinking about hospitality for those who aren’t drinking and sparking a little debate,” says Branson. “I’m happy Seedlip is there—I’m always excited to show people that there is another way.” 

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Sober Island Brewing and ShipBuilders Cider launch collaboration

Cider and oyster stout join forces to create a unique flavour.

Posted By on Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 3:59 PM

click image VIA FACEBOOK
  • via Facebook

Sober Island Brewing Co. has teamed up with ShipBuilders Cider to collaborate on a medley of beer and cider, launching this weekend

Sober Island Brewing owner Rebecca Atkinson connected with Sean Sears of ShipBuilders through a Mashup Lab program, and Atkinson says Sears has since become a mentor of sorts. Now, they’re finally launching a product together.

“I think we were just looking for a blend that suited, I guess, our liking,” says Atkinson. “You don’t really know what you’re gonna get when you put together an oyster stout and a cider. I mean, oyster stout in itself is a pretty unique product and they all vary incredibly.”

The beer-cider hybrid is called Core and Keel, a combination of Shipbuilders’ cider and Sober Island’s oyster stout. The stout is accurate named, as it actually requires oysters as an ingredient—whole, fresh oysters are added during the last 10 minutes of the boil. Using that particular beer was Sears’ idea.

“I was just really interested in collaborating with them for a unique product and, I mean, it doesn’t really get more unique than that with our beer,” says Atkinson.

She notes that the blend “resembles more of a wine product than it would beer or cider,” so it will appeal to wine drinkers as much as beer aficionados.

“It was sort of rugged in the flavour but really velvety in the mouth feel, and with that light cider bubble it was very effervescent in the end.”

Core and Keel will be available at the launch party at Battery Park Beer Bar on Saturday.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Compass Distillers points in the right direction

Agricola Street's tower is now open, debuting a distillery and tasting room

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 2:42 PM

Tower of boozy power - VIA @COMPASSDISTILLERS
  • Tower of boozy power
  • via @compassdistillers

Compass Distillers is here to lift your spirits—and perhaps offer you a place to crash as well.The cylindrical tower on Agricola took over the former site of Nauss Bicycle Shop (2533 Agricola Street). Now, it’s not only a distillery, but will soon be home to a cocktail bar and an Airbnb to boot. Compass is waiting on its full-fledged bar license, so for now it is just offering tastings. Gin, rum, whiskey and vodka are the current offerings.

“Anything that we sell in this building will have been made in this building. No exceptions,” says Graham Collins, the company president. He runs the show alongside his friends David LaGrand and Josh Judah.

Upon entering the building, the bar is the first thing you’ll see. Part of the production area is visible through a glass wall separating it from the seating area, and it’s also available for tours. The top two floors of the tower are furnished like a two-bedroom apartment. LaGrand, who is based out of Michigan, will stay there when he’s in town. While it’s not in use, anyone will be able to rent it.

“It’s a great area,” Collins says of Agricola. “It’s very vibrant. There’s tons of foot traffic, there are lots of interesting businesses.” Going forward, the hope is that Compass will eventually expand far beyond the north-end street. “We are literally looking to become a—at least North America if not a world-distributed product.”

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Tall Sips drops anchor July 27

Get thirsty! We're celebrating summer and the incoming Tall Ships Regatta, with this week of specialty drinks.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 5:09 PM


Later this month The Coast is raising a glass (actually, over 45 of them) to cocktail culture, summertime in the city the the incoming Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta with a celebration of hydration— Tall Sips.

Restaurants, bars and cafes across town are joining in on the fun, offering up special $8 alcoholic or $5 non-alcoholic, nautically-themed beverages from July 27 to August 2, when tall ships from around the world will be the talk of our docks.

It works like this: You pick up a passport from one of the participating locations, feast your eyes on the 48 options for wetting your whistle—beers, cocktails, shakes, iced coffees and more— and collect stamps as you sip your way across the city.

Get a sneak peek at the Tall Sips menu here.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Goodmore Kombucha launches six flavours

It was ferment to be

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 12:18 PM

  • John Newgard
Fifteen years working overseas in the wine industry instilled a serious love for “crafting beautiful beverages” in Kevin and Alexis Moore. So much so that the couple— who on top of wine, had an affinity for making fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, beer and kombucha at home— returned to their home in Nova Scotia about a year ago with a plan to start Goodmore Kombucha in hand.

“We had this moment of having a very intense calling home,” says Alexis. “We made lots of changes and brought ourselves back here and wanted to start our own project. This seed has been growing for quite a while so we were really exited to bring that seed home.”

The couple did product trials in their kitchen to arrive upon six individually fermented kombucha flavours, like black ginger, green rosehip hibiscus and oolong hop cardamom. They officially launched the brand last week. “Coming from a wine background we wanted to focus on more on the subtleties that kombucha can present, highlighting the diversity of teas,” says Alexis.

For now, you can find bottles at Local Source Market, Dilly Dally Cafe, Battery Park Beer Bar and Little C, going forward the Moores hope to grow their brand and maybe even experiment with kombucha and cocktails.

“Coming back a year ago, there were little to no kombucha producers and we’ve been thrilled to see the handful of really great producers pop up,” says Alexis. “Having an industry that can come together and tell a shared story, where each company has their own differentiation, that element of collaboration is so exciting.”

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

North Brewing Company wins two Canadian Brewing Awards

And the CBAs are coming to Halifax next year!

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 4:19 PM

North Brewing Co's hardware - ROZINA DARVESH
  • North Brewing Co's hardware
  • Rozina Darvesh

Rozina Darvesh and Peter Burbridge struck gold last weekend. The co-owners of North Brewing Company took home two gold trophies with their first-time entries at the Canadian Brewing Awards, which took place in Ottawa. North’s Gus’ 65m Ale was the victor in the Belgian Abbey/Pale category and its Midnight Glenora Barrel-Aged in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (dark) category.

The awards are Canada’s premier competition among beer and cider manufacturers. This year marks 15 years since the Canadian Brewing Awards started judging the finest beers the country has to offer. This year’s awards weren’t just a win for North, but Nova Scotia, too—the event will take place in Halifax for the first time in 2018. To the folks at North Brewing, having the event take place here puts Nova Scotia on the map in the world of craft beer. “It shows just how the industry has evolved,” said Burbridge. “Halifax now has more breweries per-capita than anywhere else in the country.”

Starting a brewery was a way for Darvesh and Burbridge to stay and build roots in Nova Scotia. The art of making beer helped combine the food science degree Darvesh received from Dalhousie University with Burbridge’s MBA into a family business. The two beers that took home gold in Ottawa were conceived by the couple in the company’s first year. “They’ve been with us since the beginning,” said Darvesh.

Gus’ 65m Ale is a Belgian-style “patio beer”, blonde with citrus notes, created and named for North’s neighbour Gus’ Pub and the 65-metre distance between them. Midnight, a strong brew with tones of cherry, dark-chocolate, whiskey and vanilla is barrel-aged in Cape Breton and bottled in Halifax.

Three other Nova Scotian breweries—Uncle Leo’s Brewing, Boxing Rock and Propeller—took home awards over the weekend as well, while Bulwark Cider and Sid’s Cider took multiple honours in the cider categories.

Darvesh says she is pumped to show what Nova Scotian craft brewers are capable of at the awards next year. “We, as a brewing company, get to showcase what we do to the rest of the country,” she says, “open our doors and show-off our province and reciprocate the welcome we received in Ottawa.”

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In Print This Week

Vol 27, No 34
January 16, 2020

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