Canadian food DYK: Canada’s royal whisky, or rather, rye

Find out how Canadian rye got its "crown", so to speak

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In 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth made history when they became the first reigning monarchs to visit Canada. Inspired by this historic journey, the president of Seagram, Samuel Bronfman, created a whisky to honour the notable visit. He trialed more than 600 blends before the final product was ready to be gifted. In a cut-glass decanter and regal purple bag with gold stitching, the whisky he presented to the king and queen was a smooth blend of roughly 50 whiskies which became known, fittingly, as Crown Royal.

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It was sold exclusively in Canada until 1964, when it was finally introduced to American markets. Today, Crown Royal is owned by Diageo and is produced at a distillery near Gimli on the shores of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba.

Did you know that rye is the Canadian term for Canadian whisky, though it's actually made with a blend of rye, corn, and barley?