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     We could hardly wait, when we opened the box. There were five bottles enticingly waiting to sampled; they reminded me of the vintage liquor bottles that we had found hidden in the rafters of our century-old barn; each of these bottles is adorned with vintage looking labels, and each is truly a work of art....But it was what was inside that was going to be the real treat!

     The five offerings we received are just a small sampling of products created by brothers Jeremiah and Joshua Clarke of Moonshine Creek, a micro-distillery located in Watervale, New Brunswick, not far from Hartland and its famous covered bridge.

     This family-owned and operated business opened in August of 2018. Initially specializing in moonshine and chocolate liqueurs, they have now branched out into barrel-aged spirits, whisky, rum and brandy.

     I had heard a lot of talk about the company’s innovative and imaginative products, the Chicken Bone liqueur in particular. For those who aren’t aware of so-called chicken bones, read on. Many of us eagerly wait for the Christmas season to begin, because we know that’s when these delicious candies, first made by Ganong Brothers of St. Stephen, NB, will make an appearance on store shelves around the region. If you’re not familiar with the flavour of chicken bone candy, it is a delightful combination of smooth rich chocolate and cinnamon. The Clarks’ chicken bone liqueur was first debuted in 2018 in limited quantities. It was such a huge success that it was re-released in 2019, and now it’s a staple in their inventory. During those first couple of years, the brothers donated $25,000 from sales to food banks in all four of the Atlantic Canadian provinces, firmly establishing themselves as community stewards and supporters.

Some delightful cocktails from Moonshine Creek

     The other product that I was very keen to try is the newly-named Mugshot; formerly known as Double Double. You don’t have to travel too far outside of Canada for that particular phrase to lose meaning; however, ask anyone in Atlantic Canada for one and you will soon have a piping-hot cup of coffee with two sugar and two cream in your hand. This deep and dark liqueur is made of premium dark roast that’s been complemented with an espresso-like flavour, vanilla, and caramelized sugar. Simply pour over ice and add a bit of cream for a coffee-like indulgence. Or pour over ice cream. Or in your coffee if you’re staying home.

     Another very popular product is the result of collaboration between Moonshine Distillery and Crosby’s Fancy Molasses. The Clarke brothers call their Gingersnap Canadian Rum Cream Liqueur “their greatest creation yet.” The liqueur has an undeniable flavour of gingersnap cookies; the pairing of the smooth, rich Crosby’s molasses and Moonshine Creek’s Canadian rum—plus the addition of some cream—makes this a component of the perfect Christmas Eve cocktail. I also particularly love the label on this one; it reminds me of a nostalgic 1950s magazine ad.

     While on the topic of the changing seasons, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Peppermint Patrick; this one gets huge points from me simply for the name. Peppermint Pattie’s grown up, rebellious cousin is welcome at any of my holiday parties! Coming in with that warm chocolate and mint flavour, Peppermint Patrick is definitely at home on my liquor cart during the winter holiday season.

     And finally is another favourite: Moonshine Creek’s Apple Crumble. As Joshua and Jeremiah like to say, “apple pie is for our neighbours to the south, apple crumble is for us!” This flavourful liqueur is made from freshly-pressed sweet cider made from apples grown in New Brunswick orchards.

     Joshua and Jeremy Clarke, never content with what they have created, luckily for us, are always pushing the limits and creating exciting new products, such as their Canadiana; a rum-like spirit derived from maple sugar.

     All the products mentioned products can be found in NSLC stores across the four provinces or on the Moonshine Creek website, If you’re in the Waterville area, visit them in person for tours and tastings

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