With only 31 years of age under each of their belts, Jean-Philippe Roussy and Jonathan Couturier are brimming with energy and unbridled creativity. Their micro-distillery opened only three years ago, but is already garnering attention and racking up accolades. These young entrepreneurs are among Quebec’s youngest distillers, and are owners of one of only a dozen or so distilleries in the province, from Montreal to Mont-Joli and Louiseville to Roberval.
Black-spruce gin, barley-and-corn vodka, spiced rum… What started out as a “crazy idea” in Roussy’s kitchen quickly became a functioning micro-distillery churning out 65,000 bottles a year — a number that is only increasing. “Our sales are exploding, people are posting pictures of our bottles on social media, transforming their empties into drinking glasses,” exclaims Roussy, adding that this rapid success is all thanks to the duo’s dedication and passion. The two men oversee the entire operation: production, bottling, labelling, handling, equipment maintenance and all things administrative.
Canopée gin gets its moniker from the upper layer – or canopy – of a forest, the image of which is featured on the bottle. Composition: black spruce, cedar, juniper berry, maple wood and oak wood. “This light gin with notes of vanilla and smoked wood is great served as an aperitif, mixed with tonic water or in a martini. Pair it with gravlax, crackers, salami and olives.”
Azimut vodka is named after a compass rose. What makes it so unique? Homemade barley and corn alcohols give it a subtle taste of buttered bread. Enjoy it straight-up, on the rocks, in a Bloody Caesar (with Montreal Steak Spice, The Extreme Bean spicy garnish and salami from Charcutiers Pork Shop), or in a cocktail (see recipe on next page). Serve with oysters.
As to Morbleu, “we definitely had fun making this spiced rum! It’s an exquisite adventure on choppy seas… in a bottle!” Production method: The rum is aged for two years in bourbon barrels and infused with vanilla, rosemary, cardamom and star anise. Serve it with maple products, piri piri chicken or Black Forest ham.