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Moonshine Mama’s: What’s the Secret to Savouring?

    People Profiles    September 20, 2016

Who isn’t intrigued by the word “moonshine”? It’s not a word we hear often these days. It conjures images of brewing under the light of the moon. And when we see that word on a beverage, we can’t help but be curious―even if it’s alcohol-free!

It’s not just the word moonshine that provoked a deep curiosity in me, it was the other words―elixir and tonic―and the packaging, too. The novelty branding is reminiscent of 19th century quackery. Promises of longevity or irresistible healthy locks come to mind.

But Moonshine Mama’s doesn’t proclaim anything like this. The turmeric elixir speaks for itself!

In spite of the vintage vibes of the packaging, a mouthful of the elixir is an authentic zing of freshness, and the clean combination of ginger, turmeric, and lemon is a complete sensory experience.

I discovered Moonshine Mama’s Sour Cherry Turmeric Elixir at Country Grocer. Sour cherry? I pre-puckered in preparation for “tart”!

But it was not to be. The sour cherry was a harmonious addition in Moonshine Mama’s intricate arrangement of flavours. The vim in every sip propelled me beyond curious: How do so many bold flavours come together to create this taste-bud titillation? Who is the mixing wizard behind these health-alicious drinks?

It was time for a snoop fest. I sent them an email.

I received a warm welcome from Melinda, the Moonshine Mama herself. I met Moonshine Papa; daughter Ceilidh―supreme mixologist; Lisa, full-timer who brings a healthy dose of grounded sensibility; and Mama Cat who keeps her paws out of the kitchen but not off your lap.

Melinda opened the steamy-windowed door of their 150 square foot work space, and the spicy aroma of elixir enveloped me.

Moonshine Mama’s has four ingredients I adore in a business: humour, love, esthetics, and creativity. The sitting area where we chatted was vibrant, with yellow flowers and ginger growing up the wall.

To prevent me from salivating my way through the interview, she satiated my taste buds with samples. Then I spilled the beans and told her about my problem: an entire 500ml jar barely lasts only 30 minutes in my hands.

I asked for tips about ways to savour the elixirs. Mel said, “Sky’s the limit, but we have three basic ways. Use 1.5 ounces per serving. One, with hot water as a tea; two, a shot on ice, and three, with sparkling water.”

Other suggestions include a mocktini with salted lime syrup and bubbly water; an elixir latte, made by foaming it with an espresso steamer and sprinkled with cinnamon; an elixir sundae, poured over ice cream; and a G&T, turmeric lime mixed with gin and Phillips cucumber tonic. Photos on Moonshine Mama’s website show different ways of savouring the elixirs.

Before I went to Country Grocer to get some sparkling water and ice cream, Mel told me that other masterfully mixed concoctions are ready for market, including the “Winter Warrior”―elderberry―which will re-appear this month! I’ll be eagerly waiting!

Salt Spring - Moonshine Mama - Melinda

Salt Spring - Moonshine Mama - 20160901_135826

Salt Spring - Moonshine Mama - 20160901_135748

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