Startup building a buzz with Nude soda lineup

Brand moving into new markets as demand increases for vodka and gin sodas

Maddy Amisano, who grew up on the North Shore, started out in operations as Nude Soda’s first employee.

When North Shore native Maddy Amisano began working with Nude, the new B.C. startup focusing on canned, carbonated soda alternatives to beer and coolers, they had sales of a hundred grand. Two years later the young company is now at just under 10 million.

Amisano grew up on the North Shore attending Windridge Park Preschool, Plymouth Elementary and Windsor Secondary schools, as well as playing team sports with the North Shore Girls Soccer Club and Mount Seymour Little League.

At Nude, she started out in operations as the company’s first employee.

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A spirited selection at the BC Distilled 2019 Audience Favourites Awards

Odd Society’s Prospector Rye Whisky was voted the audience-favourite whisky at BC Distilled. Gail Nugent photo

They came, they sipped, they chose their favourites, ranging from a delicately herbal absinthe to a boldly spiced rye whisky.

Some 600 people descended on the Croatian Cultural Centre on April 6 for the sixth annual BC Distilled festival, highlighting the best of the province’s artisan spirits. Some 180 spirits from 39 distilleries were poured over two tastings, and at the end of it all, the audience voted for their favourites in 13 categories.

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“Espresso” Martini

The “Espresso” Martini at Blackbird is actually made with house-made cold brew concentrate.

• 60ml Absolut vodka
• 30ml Kahlua
• 45ml Cold Brew concentrate* (espresso from home machine easy substitute)
• 3 dash Fee Brothers Black Walnut bitters
• 15ml simple syrup

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A shift out of neutral

The Alchemist’s tasting panel samples B.C. vodkas for a taste of the province’s most crowd-pleasing spirit

The lineup of vodkas tasted by the panel reflected a range of flavours from clean and neutral to surprisingly lush, fruity, bold and intense. Dan Toulgoet photo

Nazdarovya! With the FIFA World Cup kicking off this month in Russia, our thoughts have turned to vodka. (That and Neymar’s incredible comeback, of course.)

Vodka is often described as a “colourless, odourless, flavourless” spirit, but its clean subtlety is sometimes just what we crave. And so we asked our Alchemist tasting panel comprising some of Vancouver’s top bartenders—Olivia Povarchook of Vij’s Restaurant, Katie Ingram of Toptable Group and Josh Pape of Gooseneck Hospitality (Wildebeest, Bells and Whistles, Bufala, Lucky Taco)—to sample eight artisanal B.C. vodkas, share their thoughts and suggest cocktails to make with them.

Here’s what they had to say.

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Elder Sour

Odd Society’s Elder Sour. Supplied photo.

This refreshing cocktail recipe from Odd Society Spirits makes an ideal patio sipper.

• 1.5 oz Odd Society Elderflower Liqueur
• 1 oz Odd Society East Vancouver vodka
• 1 oz fresh lemon juice
• 0.3 oz simple syrup
• 1 egg white or 1 dash of Ms. Betters Bitters Miraculous Foamer

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True Lies

Chiara Fung’s True Lies. Dan Toulgoet photo

This award-winning cocktail was created by Chiara Fung, premium bartender at H Tasting Lounge at The Westin Bayshore.

• 2 oz Stolichnaya Premium Vodka
• 1.25 oz fresh lemon juice
• 1 oz charred pineapple cordial (see recipe below)
• 1 oz pineapple jam (see recipe below)
• Garnish: dehydrated pineapple slice, pineapple leaves

Shake ingredients with ice and double-strain into a double rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with dehydrated pineapple slice and two pineapple leaves. Serves 1.

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Yuzu Meringue Pie

Yuzu Meringue Pie. Dan Toulgoet photo.

Yuzu (aka. citrus junos) is a rare hybrid citrus fruit popular in Japan that has been historically cultivated as a herbal remedy. Prized by bartenders, the fruit’s aroma and flavour offers a rare and complex blend of lime, lemon, grapefruit and mandarin orange. 

• 1oz of Shin Premium Yuzu Wine
• 1oz Vanilla Vodka
• 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
• 1/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
• 1/4 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and serve in a sugar-rimmed martini glass.

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Crow’s Nest Distillery

Rekindling the tradition of his Italian ancestors, Daniel Paolone, along with friend Ian Jarvis, are distilling spirits with local ingredients, starting with vodka and rum.

117-667 Sumas Way, Abbotsford


• Crow’s Nest Vodka
• Crow’s Nest White Rum
• Crow’s Nest Spiced Rum


Crow’s Nest Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Faint vanilla.
FLAVOUR: Cinnamon spice.
FEEL: Clean and crisp.
FINISH: Short and pleasant, light vanilla.
BEST ENJOYED: Vodka soda.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Extraordinarily clean and crisp, true to the essence of vodka as a neutral grain spirit. —Robyn Gray, October 2017


North West Distilling Co.

Using winter wheat, Maple Ridge-based NorthWest creates its signature vodka by distilling it 10 times and cold-filtering eight times through charcoal.

104-20120 Stewart Cres., Maple Ridge


• North West Vodka


North West Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Just alcohol.
FLAVOUR: Sweet. White pepper.
FEEL: Silky and balanced.
FINISH: Short but pleasant.
BEST ENJOYED: Chilled. Minimal dilution. Makes a good Martini. 
THE BOTTOM LINE: Very easy-drinking vodka. —Josh Pape, October 2017


After Dark Distillery

Dean and Louise Perry moved from Alberta to the Shuswap to begin their distilling adventure. They focus on flavoured moonshine, vodkas and whisky, but gin is also in the works.

1201 Shuswap Ave., Sicamous


• Monashee Mountain Mango Peach Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Maple Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Peach Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Mountain Dew Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Ginger & Honey Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Lemonade Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Iced Tea Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Apple Pie Moonshine
• After Dark Burner Vodka
• Monashee Mountain Vodka
• Monashee Mountain Whiskey


Monashee Mountain Apple Pie Moonshine

FRAGRANCE: Amazing nose of fresh baked cinnamon buns, quince tarte tatin and cream cheese.
FLAVOUR: Apple candy sweetness dominates.
FEEL: Very light viscosity.
FINISH: Sweet finish with hints of cinnamon and vanilla. Astringent, bitter notes.
BEST ENJOYED: In hot apple cider on a fall day.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Could use more viscosity and natural apple flavour. —Shaun Layton, October 2017

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