Alberta entrepreneur turns peas into cocktails while supporting agriculture industry
An Alberta entrepreneur with a passion for agriculture has developed a liqueur with a very unique ingredient while supporting the local industry.
For quite some time, Field Notes co-founder Faaiza Ramji has been concerned about Alberta’s agriculture industry, particularly the province’s crops.
“What we do is we grow a lot of our crops and we export them raw and then other countries add value to them and then we buy them back at a really exorbitant price, so it always kind of bothered me that we don’t make more out of these products,” she said.
Ramji began contemplating what more can be done with Alberta’s peas. She initially considered creating a snack food product or a milk substitute, but eventually came across an article that sparked the idea of using dry peas as a key ingredient for a liqueur. She took the concept and began working on making it a reality.
“The base is a neutral spirit like any, and then what we’ve done is we’ve turned that into an Amaro,” she explained.
“Amaros are liqueurs that take a neutral base spirit and you add a bunch of botanicals, herbs, flowers, and you sweeten it generally with something — which we’ve used Alberta honey. So our Amaro is made with about over 15 botanicals that all come from the prairies.”
Ramji began working with Fort Distillery in Fort Saskatchewan on the exact ingredients for her brainchild, and it did not take long to come up with the final formula.
“We nailed the flavour on the first try and then we did a little bit of tweaking over the next couple of batches,” she said.
“We call it a garden Amaro because it truly does taste like a garden. And when you smell it, you can smell the elderflower — that’s probably the predominant smell that you get.