Thank Ida. If you like raspberries, take a moment to show some gratitude to Ida. According to Greek mythology, baby Zeus’ nursemaid nymph, Ida, was picking snow-white berries for her young charge. When she pricked her finger with a thorn, her blood dripped onto the berries, staining them red for ever more. The red rasberry’s binomial name – Rubus idaeus – means the ‘bramble bush of Ida.’
Ida’s blood-stained berries have found another happy home in the Raspberry Liqueur created by Mike Urban of Urban Distillery in Kelowna. Pull out the stopper and you smell Okanagan black and red raspberries infused with vanilla. It’s a bright, rich taste that is perfect for after-dinner sipping. Urban also suggests adding it to Champagne for a Raspberry Royale.
Mike Urban was inspired to create the Urban Distillery after a visit to a cognac distillery in Cognac, France. Urban, an Electronics Engineer, also has a Spirit Bear gin and vodka line, with a percentage of sales going towards protection of BC’s official and endangered mammal: The Kermode or Spirit Bear.
Here’s a look at the distillery that is making magic out of Ida’s berries. This particular video was made in 2012, one year after they opened.
Written by Elizabeth Newton
Header: Josef Kostka. Still life with raspberries and currants. 1846-1927