Packed with umami-enhancing glutamates, seaweed amps up the flavour of anything it accompanies. It’s also a highly sustainable food source: vegan caviar, seasonings, edible packaging and meat alternatives (such as jerky) are just a few of the latest innovations made with this fast-growing marine algae. In Canada, craft distillers are even turning to seaweed and kelp to give their spirits a coastal note.
The Newfoundland Distillery uses dulse harvested from the Grand Banks in its award-winning gin. In 2018, it won a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition and a silver medal at the Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition. Available in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, $35–$37, thenewfoundlanddistillery.com.
St Laurent Gin
Distillerie Du St. Laurent uses luminaria seaweed hand-harvested from the Bas-Saint-Laurent region for its distinctive gin, which has a pale greenish hue and a salty finish. Available in Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia. $50, distilleriedustlaurent.com.
Still Fired Distillery, a small-batch distillery in Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia, handpicks and sun-dries the dulse that flavours its smooth gin. Available at the distillery and at farmer’s markets in Nova Scotia. Plus, the distiller will ship to anywhere in Canada, $40, stillfireddistilleries.com
In January, Sheringham’s Seaside Gin nabbed another award: Best Contemporary Gin in Canada at the World Gin Awards. It’s made of local white wheat, barley and kelp. Available in B.C., Alberta and Manitoba, $40, sheringhamdistillery.com.