In the mood for gin?
Okay, but why not à la hibiscus? Vodka? Make it with hops. A gin-tonic ready-to-drink? Then be sure to give it flavours as unique as they are attractive – think honey, peach and rosemary – and call it Nectar. In other words, try to mimic the mind space of Oshlag Distillery, which for the past four years has charted its own unique path through Quebec’s liquor landscape.
With a name that’s certainly moored in its Montreal context – "Oshlag" comes from "Hochelaga", the area of the island the company calls home – the distillery has also set itself the goal of becoming anchored within the wider territory of Quebec. “When we only use Quebec grains or hops, that limits us, but it also sets us apart. There’s a challenge, every time, in making the product local,” explains Frédéric Thibault, Vice-President of Marketing at the Glutenberg Group, which owns Oshlag, the brewery Glutenberg, and the distributor Transbroue.
It’s this spirit combined with originality and a belief in local products that is manifest in its more recent house-made gin, Dentdelion, which prominently features red clover and, of course, dandelion. “Flowers that might be destroyed,” says Thibault, but that instead give the gin a unique floral character, produced by plants that anyone can find in their own neighbourhood.