Darren’s Thanksgiving Picks

Laird’s Applejack Brandy

Laird’s Applejack is a pure spirit beverage made from a blend of apple brandy and neutral grain spirits. The aged apple brandy base gives Laird’s Applejack a rich, deep flavor and smooth balance, and provides that ever characteristic apple tang so loved of this iconic brand. I love using applejack in martini’s and as an aperitif over ice to open the appetite for a special holiday meal. I also enjoy it as a cocktail with Sortilege to make an old fashioned that is out of this world.

Sortilege Prestige

Made from a blend of Canadian Rye Whisky aged 7 years in premium oak, and premium first run maple syrup liqueur. Sweet and savoury combine on a rich and smooth body with peppery electricity running throughout. Just the right amount of sweetness helps balance the peppery heat of the whisky. Sortilege is a truly Canadian treat that is perfect as an after-dinner sip, or as a cocktail additive.

Maple Apple Manhattan

  • 2 oz Laird’s Applejack
  • ½ oz Sortilege Prestige
  • 1 Dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 Dash orange bitters

Combine all ingredients in glass filled half way with ice. Stir until chilled and combined, finish with an Amarena cherry.

Island Honey Wine Company Wildflower Mead

Mead is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, with evidence of its use dating back thousands of years. The Island Honey Wine Company has a beautiful and well curated selection of meads made right here on PEI. Charles and Laura Lipnicki have been farming the “La Serena Farm” since 2017. They steward multiple types of agricultural products in scenic Wheatley River. The honey used to produce this mead is collected from two bee farmers on the island and the flavouring’s, which include Honeyberry (Haskcap), Wildflower, & lavender, to name a few, are all produced at La Serena. I can’t think of a more perfect product to grace our Thanksgiving Day tables than wildflower mead. Fantastic wild flower and herbal notes round out this aromatic mead. On the palate the mead is medium bodied with generous aromas of wildflowers, honey comb and herbal notes that finishes off-dry. Serve slightly chilled in a wine glass with your turkey, or honey roasted ham.

Island Honey Wine Company Honeyberry Mead (Haskap)

Lovely light purple color in the glass. The aroma is a mix of floral honey scents that mix with berry fruit, raspberry and blackberries. On the palate it is medium bodied with dark berry notes making its first impression, opening up further to a mix of blackberry/cassis and a pleasingly balanced off-dry sweetness. Serve this on its own, slightly chilled with red meats that have a generous helping of savoury/sweet spices and accompaniments. Try beef strips in a yellow curry, or basmati rice pilaf with dried fruit and almonds. I also love to mix this with champagne for what I call a “Honeyberry Royal”.

“Honeyberry Royal”

  • 1 oz Island Honey Wine Company Honeyberry Mead
  • 2-3 oz of your favorite NV Champagne or Valdobbiadene Prosecco
  • ½ oz of Lemon Juice

In a Sparkling wine flute combine Mead and lemon juice, slowly top glass with champagne/prosecco and finish with a twist of lemon rind dropped in the glass.