Debbie’s Spring Picks

Roku Gin

Roku is the first gin from Japan’s legendary Suntory distillery. It is crafted with traditional gin and Japanese botanicals including sansho pepper and yuzu peel. This is an earthy and vegetal gin with a light fruity sweetness and peppery notes developing on the finish.

“Ginstronomy,” the art of pairing gin and food, is an interesting technique that is growing in popularity. Gin is a match made in heaven with a variety of dishes, since botanicals are at the heart of how it derives its flavor. Spring brunch is a great time to showcase the versatility of this spirit. Roku has a fresh taste with herbal and floral notes, add a splash of soda and lemon it’s ready to serve with an Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tart. Gin also pairs well with lightly smoked cheese, aged gouda and blue cheese.

For a twist on the traditional Bloody Mary or Caesar Cocktail try replacing the vodka with gin. Vodka is neutral spirit that often lets other ingredients shine in cocktails. The botanicals in Roku gin add more flavor and character to these classic brunch cocktails.

This spring toast the warmer temperatures with a flavorful and refreshing Gin Basil Smash.

Gin Basil Smash 1 Serving


  • 2 oz Roku Gin
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 oz simple syrup
  • Small bunch basil leaves (about 10)
  • Basil sprig, for garnish


  • Muddle basil leaves with lemon juice and simple syrup. Add ice and gin and shake.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass with ice.
  • Garnish with a basil sprig.

Beaus Lug Tread Laggered Ale

Beau’s year-round flagship beer is Lug Tread certified organic lagered ale. A hybrid style, Lug Tread is top-fermented (like an ale) and then cold-aged (like a lager), giving it light ale notes complemented by a lager-like crispness.

A Graham cracker malt character mingles with notes of freshly cut hay and a subtle touch of apple. Sweet, grainy malt is followed by balanced hop bitterness, with a finish that is clean and dry.

Beau’s Lug Tread is fantastic pairing with a Spring inspired picnic. A Classic Salad Niçoise, with cold roast chicken and Abbey-style cheese is a tasty start to enjoying the warmer temperatures.

Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon 815

This is a full bodied aromatic Californian Cabernet that is smooth with a firm tannic structure. The wine opens with aromas of bright red fruit, along with notes of clove and baking spice. Joel Gott is juicy and savory with enticing herbs and meaty notes, perfect to serve with Easter Beef or with Balsamic Grilled Portabella Mushrooms and Gorgonzola Cheese.

Georges Duboeuf Brouilly

As the weather warms up our tastes spring toward lighter, fresher and more fruity wines. Styles with plenty of red berries that are low in tannin and spice begin to call to us during the spring months.

Gamay is the sunshine grape of the season! It produces beguilingly soft red wines with strawberry, raspberry and cherry scents. The Georges Duboeuf Brouilly has an intense crimson color, aromatic red berry aromas with violet and lilac expressions. It is light bodied and flavorful, the mouth is rich and full, with a balance of fruity aromas and light tannic structure. Lighter wines with low tannins are best enjoyed at 14°C.

It might be a bit early for al fresco dining but Gamay based wines are an ideal companion to foods we associate with spring and summer dining. Seared Salmon or Duck served with our Crunchy Beet & Walnut Salad would be an ideal pairing with the Brouilly.

If you are planning a special Mother’s Day brunch, consider serving the Georges Duboeuf, it is a great companion wine to many dishes.The light red berry juiciness of gamy draws out the fruitiness in many spiced dishes. It is also complements the flavours and textures in Brie and Camembert cheese, so it works well with a cheese and fruit board. For larger groups serving cold ham or turkey with cranberry potato salad is an easy and festive menu to feed a crowd.


Cointreau is a premium brand of triple sec created in France, famous for its tangy orange peel aroma and bittersweet orange flavor. It is a simple blend of sugar, water and bitter Caribbean and sweet European oranges. It is well regarded as having a perfect balance of warm spices and alcohol. The unique blend of sweet and bitter makes it a great addition to many creative cocktails and a key ingredient for Margaritas and Cosmopolitans. Cointreau surged in popularity during the Golden Age of Cocktails, first appearing in mixology manuals as early as 1922. Cointreau is not limited to a supporting role in mixed drinks,it is wonderful served as either an aperitif or digestif.

Cointreau is a definite asset to any home bar but it is also useful in the kitchen of many at home chefs. Planning for Easter family gatherings is a great opportunity to experiment with Cointreau’s many culinary talents. Use Cointreau in flavoured whipped butter, on warmed breakfast bread or croissants with morning coffee, its a great start to any day. For an unforgettable Easter dinner try roasting your turkey or ham with a pepper and Cointreau rub, the combination of sweet and spice will amaze your guests. It is also great alongside chocolate and fruit inspired salads and dessert.

Spring can be a busy social season with Easter gatherings Mothers Day Brunches and graduations. Having a quick and delicious cocktail recipe that’s also spring inspired is a great treat for your guests. The Cherry Blossom Tini is a Cosmo inspired drink with an interesting addition of Sake and bitters.

Cherry Blossom Tini



  • Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice
  • Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

PEI Brewing Company Iron Bridge Brown Ale

The Island Bridge Brown ale was awarded the title of “Best Brown Ale” in Canada at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards. The PEI Brewing Company begins with a base of Canadian barley malt for bready crispness and the rich roasty-toasty aromas are the result of premium British chocolate and black malts. The ale is lightly hopped to let the malts take center stage. Island Bridge is medium to full bodied with a smooth roasted malt flavor and chocolate finish. It has a 5.3 abv and has a 36 IBU rating All products from this brewery are produced using all natural products with no additives no preservatives and no pasteurization. Just another great reason to support this Island brewery.

As the days grow longer and the temperatures start to heat up, our taste buds look for more refreshing beverages. Iron Bridge Ale is a fantastic alternative to red wine during warmer months. The carbonization and malted flavors will be a fantastic compliment for BBQ dishes with caramelized onions and mushroom. Try the Iron Bridge with our Beer-Braised Pulled Pork Recipe. The Brown ale is used in the recipe so the pairing will be excellent. The unique chocolate finish of the ale will also be great with a variety of chocolate inspired desserts.