11 Precious Elixirs Made in the Townships

Besides delicious wines and savoury beers, many other great beverages are concocted in the Townships. Let’s visit 11 local producers who have created the most amazing elixirs.

By Marie-Claude Masse

Absintherie des Cantons

Since 2013, Absintherie des Cantons, in Granby, is making its fans very happy with this mythical drink and the thousand virtues it offers. This family enterprise creates its absinth, and its gin, with their carefully grown plants. The Blue flower, made with about a dozen plants, has won the prestigious Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2017!
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Distillerie Shefford

The Distillerie Shefford develops fine maple-based craft spirits. Managed by two passionate entrepreneurs, they were successful in having their popular Acérum, a maple brandy, become certified. Their distillery, located at the foot of Mount Shefford, received the 2017 Innovation award from the Conseil de la transformation en alimentation du Québec (CTAQ) in the Distilled Alcohol category for their Acérum Brun.
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Hydromellerie Les Saules

Still in Shefford, you’ll find the first mead to have opened in Quebec, in 1988: l’Hydromellerie Les Saules. The oldest alcohol beverage in the world is created here by two passionate brothers, Patrick and Stéphane Vanier, using clover honey and wild flowers. A sweet nectar with honey and ripe apple aromas, to be served very cold!
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L’École du 3e Rang

Here, they concoct many delightfully fruity drinks! Whether it’s apples, pears, plums or cherries, these savoury fruits, picked right there, are used as a base for their apple ciders, pear and plum wines. A cherry cream is also masterfully blended by l’École du 3e Rang in Saint-Joachim-de-Shefford. A treat to be savoured slowly!
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Cidrerie Milton

Here, you’ll find a paradise for cider lovers of all kinds! The delicious apples of this family orchard, established in 1927, are used for making the remarkable beverages of Cidrerie Milton. Flat or sparkling ciders or liqueurs, white or sparkling … your taste buds will be delighted. Psst! For your spring picnics, we suggest you bring along a few cans of Milton Star (amazing!), in their apple or grapefruit version.
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Domaine Pinnacle

Again here again the emphasis is placed on cider, but this time we’re in Frelighsburg. The renown of Domaine Pinnacle has made it a flagship enterprise of the Eastern Townships. Producing high quality ciders, the cidery has received a ton of accolades since it was created. People love their ice, flat or sparkling ciders, as much as their Réserve 1859, a blend of ice cider and apple brandy aged in oak barrels.
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Val Caudalies

Here also, at Val Caudalies, they produce a very fine quality cider (you must try their 10-year-old anniversary cuvée Cidre Aperitif, with notes of plum, butterscotch, and mild spices!). Moreover, they’ve developed a delicious smooth vermouth recipe, Lab Val Caudalies, that you can use as a fantastic base for your cocktails.
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Domaine Ives Hill

In Compton, black currants, these more and more popular berries, take the centre stage with Domaine Ives Hill’s spirits offer. Along with an Agri-tourist site promoting the passion of its creators, Domaine Ives Hill produces delicious beverages made with black currants or wild blackberries. These could be added to champagne on special occasions or to make a delicious kir royal!
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Millebois

Charming cans of Acer, this fermented maple beverage, typical of Quebec, hasn’t gone unnoticed since it first appeared. With its different flavours, they will make quite an impression with your guests. You’ll find elegant products, such as the Amber, for pairing with aged cheeses and the exuberant Mousseux, perfect for special celebrations. Maple fans, you’ll be thrilled with Millebois products.
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Also, here are two 100% Townships products with no alcohol, but absolutely delicious.

La Rhubarbelle

La Rhubarbelle, located in the Brome Lake region, was bold enough to press its savoury rhubarb stalks and develop these invigorating sparkling 100% natural juices. We love them! Also, since last year, the company has added a new product: the Forestier, made with balsam fir shoots, wild mint and maple syrup! You can drink it as such or as gin or vodka-based cocktails.
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Tchaga

Our love for kombucha has reached the Eastern Townships and Tchaga produces an excellent selection! Offered in four flavours in bottle (hop, chaga, ginger and sea buckthorn), they are craft-made using only organic products.
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