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Life in a slow place that quickly steals your heart.

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Naramata’s Legend distills our hottest summer on record into a liqueur

Bring on the heat

Our Carpe Diem Farm raspberries fought hard through a heat dome that saw temperatures soar to 45 degrees C as did the jalapeño peppers grown in Naramata at https://www.puzzlegrassfarm.com and https://www.plottwistfarms.com. Our careful watering and tending combined with Legend Distilling’s artful magic has resulted in a spicy warming liqueur. It’s sort of an “out of the frying pan and into the fire” situation for our raspberries and the Naramarta peppers and the result may well become legendary.

We lost about a third of our crop this year due to extreme heat so these sweet survivors deserve their special Legend Distilling boozy end.
“Legend has it…(well actually…science states) that jalapeño peppers contain capsaicin – which when consumed – can make some people feel a sense of euphoria, similar to a ‘runner’s high’.

This 30% alcohol by volume Jalapeño Raspberry Liqueur is the first release in Legenddistilling.com new experimental Day Tripper series. “It allows us to showcase the bounty of our local area in very small batches,” says Legend’s Dawn Lennie. “Each flavour is unique and available just once, or maybe once again. You just never know.”

As the label says, “Life is one big experiment – choose your drinks wisely.” Legend’s distillery location is abundant with fresh ingredients. Our raspberry farm is literally just down the street from Legend and the two farms that provided the peppers just minutes away.

The colour is lovely don’t you think?

The liqueur has a distillate base of Legend handmade vodka made from 100% British Columbia grown wheat and the fruit infusion is our raspberries and the peppers.

The liqueur pairs well with tequila to make a spicy margarita, vodka (think jello shots or a gimlet) Legend’s Black Moon (smoke and spice) or Legend’s Naramaro or other Amaro Liqueurs.

Dawn says it works a great replacer for Fireball if you need a warm sip after a day of skiing, snowboarding or sledding.

Mixers suggestions for fun and easy sippers or if you want to dream up a festive cocktail include mango, cranberry and apple juices, ginger ale, fruit punch, orange, pineapple, raspberry juices or fresh lime or lemon juice.

Try it in shooters for a kick, says Dawn. It also pairs well with melon and banana liqueur, peach schnapps, raspberry sourpuss, framboise, and orange liqueur or coconut rum.

Ready for a first sip.

In 2013, Doug and Dawn Lennie took over the site of the former Naramata doctor’s office and transformed the property into a distillery and tasting room, complete with patio, garden and outdoor restaurant with one of the best lake views in all of Naramata.

Passionate about local ingredients, the Lennies support local farmers, producers and small businesses in the community. “We are able to tell a story through the spirits and provisions we make; a story of this amazing place, it’s history, it’s legends and the incredible people who live here,” says Dawn.

“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…” The Secret Garden

It’s been unusual. A cooler and wetter spring…a pandemic that kept us a home. Our secret garden has been the beneficiary. Here is a bit of a photo essay on the effects of perfect growing conditions and lots of attention in our Naramata, British Columbia, Canada garden on the summer solstice.

“I am sure there is Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us.” The Secret Garden

The purples seem more purple this year…

The pinks more pink…

And we’ve had time to sit and enjoy it all unfolding.

With our pals who are allowed in from time to time…

Just outside the garden walls is our raspberry farm just days away from harvest.

The farm has never looked so tidy. One hour-long spray with round-up would have dealt with all the grass and weeds that invaded the rows but we don’t spray or use chemicals so it was a 160-hour job completed over four months. On hands and knees with a garden fork… It should be easier to maintain going forward with minor attention. It looks great but more importantly the raspberry roots now have less competition for nutrients, water and space. It’s going to be a bumper crop.

The Owl looked up to the stars above

I may be athropomorphisizing but this little Great Horned Owl swoops into our garden, finds a perch and sits and enjoys the sunset until it’s too dark for me to photograph her.

These photos were taken in three different sunset sessions in October, November and December in our Naramata yard overlooking Okanagan Lake.

Here is a little poetry to go along with my art… a favourite often recited by my dad…

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

BY EDWARD LEAR
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea 
   In a beautiful pea-green boat, 
They took some honey, and plenty of money, 
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note. 
The Owl looked up to the stars above, 
   And sang to a small guitar, 
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love, 
    What a beautiful Pussy you are, 
         You are, 
         You are! 
What a beautiful Pussy you are!” 

II 
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl! 
   How charmingly sweet you sing! 
O let us be married! too long we have tarried: 
   But what shall we do for a ring?” 
They sailed away, for a year and a day, 
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows 
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood 
   With a ring at the end of his nose, 
             His nose, 
             His nose, 
   With a ring at the end of his nose. 

III 
“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling 
   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.” 
So they took it away, and were married next day 
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill. 
They dined on mince, and slices of quince, 
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;  
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, 
   They danced by the light of the moon, 
             The moon, 
             The moon, 
They danced by the light of the moon.

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)

Naramata spring – Through rose coloured glasses

Celebrating our orchards…many are disappearing, being replaced by vineyards.

Spring is my favourite time of year in Naramata, British Columbia. It’s fifty shades of pink in my photo essay.

Sour cherry trees

Magnolia…those most perfect flower

Ornamental cherry

Easter hat and Kate

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