Pre-mixed drinks are having a moment in North America. Ten years ago, all you could find at the liquor store was a sickly sweet Bacardi Breezer or Smirnoff Ice--I'm still down for a surprise icing every now and again, I must admit--but now, stores offer all sorts of inventive cocktail creations in cans and bottles. From boozy root beer to low-calorie vodka sodas in a can, the world is your oyster if you are looking for something premade.
Dubbed as "a collaboration between friends", Mingle is a drink line created by two award-winning Prairie producers: Black Fox Farm and Distillery and Living Sky Winery. Last fall, the first Mingle--a rhubarb wine and gin pre-bottled drink--was released, and after a successful year with their creation, distillery owners John and Barb Cote and Sue Echlin and Vance Lester decided to bring a second beverage into their communal fold.
Both companies are known for growing nearly all the ingredients they use to create their individual lines of products, and for this new Mingle product, the approach is no different. Raspberries, haskaps, honey and almost all the components of the gin's spirit base and botanicals come from the two companies' farms. The result is a blended fruit wine balanced out with gin and soda, slightly sweetened with honey.
"We love collaborating with Barb and Jon at Black Fox because they share our same mentality of growing quality ingredients and turning them into something special here in Saskatchewan," says Echlin. "I hope people like this new drink as much as we do."
The new Mingle is currently available at Black Fox's tasting room, Sobeys across the province, Saskatoon Coop stores, Urban Cellars, Metro Liquor and at Willow Park Wines and Spirits in Regina, but expect to find it on restaurants' drink menus around Saskatchewan in the near future as well.