Eating & Drinking

DesBrisay Dines: Suck on this — Sapsucker’s ‘water’ endearingly Canadian

Listen to Anne’s review on the Ottawa Magazine Anchor podcast: 

“Sparkling, still, tap or maple?”

It’s a question that the families behind Sapsucker would likely love to hear asked in a Canadian restaurant. Or at least in an Ontario one. And after tasting their product – water harvested from the maple trees on their Beaver Valley properties – I wouldn’t mind hearing it too.

The sap (maple ‘water’) is delicate, clean tasting, sweet and with a quiet maple ending. It wasn’t love at first sip for me. I’m used to plain water or thick syrup, and the idea of maple water took a little getting used to. But by the fifth sip I was a convert. Besides, it has an endearing Canadian flavour, something its competition (coconut water) could never boast.

I first encountered Sapsucker maple tree filtered water at a Terroir event in Grey County last year. The two founders, Nancy Chapman and Charlene McGlaughlin, of the newly formed Lower Valley Beverage Company, were introducing their first harvest to a soggy group of chefs and growers, food writers, and activists enjoying al fresco lunch in the driving rain. And then I didn’t give it much thought until I bumped into it again at Whole Foods.

Charlene McGlaughlin and Nancy Chapman of Sapsucker at Terroir 2015

The product is simply the spring water from Ontario maple trees, the sap that flows from the roots, through the trunk, picking up minerals and natural sugar. The resulting liquid is utterly pure, naturally filtered, filled with health-giving properties, packaged in bottles or tetra packs with a long shelf life. Give it a gulp.

For now, in our area, find sapsucker at Whole Foods, 951 Bank Street.