Yukon Marc is an unaged Haskap pomace brandy
Marc is a wine-grape or fruit spirit obtained by distilling pomace, the refuse leftover from crushing fruit during winemaking.
The term dates to early 17th century France.
Marcher, translating ‘to trample‘.
In Italy it’s called Grappa. In many European countries it’s called some variation of Rakia. All are filed under the broader category of Brandy. Derived from the Dutch word brandewijn, or “burnt wine”, referring to the process of taking wine and distilling it.
In Canada, the regulations on use of the term Brandy are that the bottle must clearly label what type of fruit or wine it contains. To hold the term Brandy on a bottle requires a minimum of six months in oak. So if you have an unaged brandy the term Eau de vie, grappa or marc apply. The making of pomace brandy is common in dozens of European countries from Albania to Spain. Pomace brandy is almost never aged in oak.
Fun Fact: The most expensive Marc is Marc des Hospices de Beaune selling for as high as $128.00 a bottle.
Yukon Beer And Spirits love using local ingredients in their craft brewery and microdistillery.
When they made a Haskap berry liqueur for limited release it was logical to follow the traditional next step and create Yukon Marc from the leftover pomace. The results were well worth bottling. On first nose I note that there is no mustiness. It is quite clean, akin to a vodka. It is when I take it into my mouth that there are light fruit brandy tones. Velvet soft mouth feel, without any trace of harsh burn on the finish. After I roll it around in my mouth the faint notes of fruit become more distinct. If anything it could use a little more of the tartness found in French Marc. Yukon Marc is a great first release for the distillery in the brandy category.
I wanted to make a cocktail suited to this spirit. Something that lengthened the flavors and would be very accessible to people who wanted something refreshing. Behold, the Yukon Marc Summer Sling: I paired the Marc with Ruby Port because this style of port is “youthful, powerful and fruit-forward. The red-berry fruit aromas which characterize the style match the bright red color which gave rise to the name ‘ruby’. (from the definition of Ruby Port on wine-searcher.com)
To keep the bright fruit balanced to the refreshingly tart side the cocktail is topped with tonic.
Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake hard. Strain over crushed ice in a tall sling glass. Top with quality tonic water and garnish with haskap berries or ‘lime hairs’.
*If you are unable to source the Yukon Marc, experiment with any unaged pomace brandy.