Sipping Spirits and Cocktails the Traditional Way – Domaine Pinnacle
Old-school cocktails and spirits are making a comeback, and are most appreciated when enjoyed the traditional way.
“there are so many trends in these changing times, but consumers will always return to the good old days when quality is key and traditions are revered.”
The zeitgeist of today’s un-user friendly technological and complicated times is a changing – at least where the hospitality and alcohol beverage industry is concerned. According to Joshua Groom, Brand Ambassador for Domaine Pinnacle: “There is an appreciation for our heritage and history of the technique and the way things were done, going back to the days of near prohibition.” That means sipping premium brands and age-old blends and delicacies.
Groom has the perfect employer to capture the essence of the past, as Domaine Pinnacle is an estate nestled in Northern Quebec complete with apple orchards and maple groves dating back to 1859. The farmhouse was built with an open octagonal roof, so the residents had a clear view the Vermont border. Early testimonies of nearby villagers claim that Domaine Pinnacle was a part of the underground railroad and provided a safe haven for slaves seeking freedom.
It’s no wonder that Groom believes many people are into “vintage things that have a vintage look, and they’re all interested in a good story,” he said. Comparable to the alcohol consumption in those bygone days, patrons are currently looking for quality brands and drinking spirits with waters and tonics, or just sipping them straight.
As an ambassador, Groom also notes the general public is more educated now and want to know about the ingredients, as well as how they are grown and produced. Groom embraces this factor and travels around the world learning about all the technical processes. “All of it goes pretty deep, and it just depends on how deep you want to go,” he said.
One of the brands he represents for Domaine Pinnacle includes Ungava Gin, which features fruits and herbs from the geographical region of Northern Quebec. Juniper Berries, which resembles a pine cone, is the main ingredient in gin, but Domaine Pinnacle also uses Wild Rose Hips, Cloudberry, Crowberry and other indigenous herbs from this region. It is yellow in color with a distinctive bouquet, poured from a clear bottle marked with Inuit symbols.
“Ungava Gin is unique in that it’s showcasing this Quebecois’ peninsula. It’s a true representation of Northern Canada and quite authentic.”
Gin Martinis are still a traditional favourite, but particularly distinctive and pleasing with Ungava Gin. “It is great just straight on the rocks,” he said, which was most common in the good old days.
Gin is among one of those spirits making a comeback, and Negroni cocktail from Italy is known worldwide. “Mix 1 oz. of gin with 1 oz. of Campari, a bitter liqueur, and one part Sweet Vermouth with a slice of orange rind to create one of the most popular cocktails around the world,” notes Groom. Even in Canada, the hospitality industry celebrates Negroni Week, where $1 is donated to the charity of your choice for each Negroni cocktail served.
Along with Gin, Cognac, which originated from France, is experiencing a resurgence and is used in many classic cocktails. The Sazerac, being one good example, was created in New Orleans using special bitters from that area. Cognac sells well in Europe, and Camus Cognac, a top-shelf product will become available in Ontario this summer, announced Groom.
Domaine Pinnacle offers many sample-tasting and tours throughout the year of its scenic estate, outlining its production process and pairing its beverages with other food and dairy products. Its boutique shop features several products using its own maple syrup. It also produces Ice Cider and Sparkling Ice Cider. Under the moniker of Coureur des Bois, Domaine Pinnacle also produces Maple Ice Cider, Maple Syrup Cream Liqueur, Canadian Whisky and Maple Syrup Liqueur.
For Domaine Pinnacle and other distilleries, the challenge is to find the right ingredients for processing. Groom’s goal is to steer the right product to the right marketplace. “Each individual brand has its own identity, and the place and product must be compatible,” he said. It sounds like a marriage made in heaven.
Above all, Groom understands customers want value for their money. They are also willing to try new beverages and acquire a taste for several of the newer and perhaps different drink sensations. Groom admits there are so many trends in these changing times, but consumers will always return to the good old days when quality is key and traditions are revered.