Based out of Bear River, in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, Sledding Hill is a small farm that grows market produce, vegetable starts and ornamental plants. But it’s with their packaged products that owners Martin McGurk and Gordon Tingley, originally from Vancouver, get most creative. Their catalogue includes lavender and chili-lemon sugars, jellies and simple syrups, as well as lavender pepper, a mixture of black peppercorns, ground lavender florets and citrus peel.
The lavender simple syrup is a hit down in Lunenburg, where you can buy it at Ironworks Distillery and sample it in the subtly floral lavender martini at Fleur de Sel, one of Atlantic Canada’s best restaurants and a Gold Medal Plates gold award winner.
The martini is easy to make at home, too, says McGurk: just mix three parts vodka, one part syrup and a squeeze of lemon, shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Or, if lighter drinks are more your style, whip up a Lavender Spark (pictured): two teaspoons of syrup in a champagne flute, topped with sparkling wine.