Now Available at the NSLC

Virga Vodka overlooking snowy Nova Scotia shoreline

Inspired by the tales from our Nova Scotia seacoast and triple-distilled using local Glanbùrn® artesian water and Annapolis Valley spring wheat, handcrafted Virga® Vodka is now available at the NSLC, just in time for holiday giving and entertaining.

Our distinctive mermaid bottle is the perfect gift for the vodka lover on your Christmas list. Clear, shimmering and elegant, it’s a must have bottle for your home bar.

While the smooth taste of Virga can be enjoyed on its own, we’ve also developed a number of special cocktails for holiday entertaining including our Christmas on the Coast, a refreshing holiday drink that can be a part of your Yule celebrations. You can find all our distinct drinks here.

Visit our store map here to find your closest NSLC that carries Virga Vodka and let the celebrations begin. Please enjoy our vodka responsibly over the holidays and make certain you don’t drink and drive. Make it a safe holiday season for everyone.

From all of us at Virga Vodka, happy holidays!

Please share your Virga holiday celebrations with us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Made of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Shore

We’re proud to launch Virga® Vodka. Our vision was simple – to handcraft one of the best tasting vodkas in the world using only local Nova Scotia ingredients.

Great vodka begins with great water and our local Glanbùrn artesian water is one of the greatest.  Glanbùrn (from the Gaelic for “pure waters”) is in the tradition of legendary mineral waters, developing a natural alkalinity as it passes through ancient glacial structures in the pristine Milford Haven watershed on its journey to our distillery in Guysborough. Through layers of glacial rock, the water takes on a natural mineral content, lending a soft texture to our vodka that you’ll notice when tasted.

Next, we sought the best wheat. We turned to the bountiful Annapolis Valley, home to some of the best soils in Atlantic Canada. Here we found the perfect spring wheat that we mill here at our distillery. Nova Scotia spring wheat gives Virga the smooth taste and creamy finish that we were looking for.

We bring our water and wheat grist together in our mash mixer and patiently ferment on-mash.  Then to our copper stills to create a spirit that is truly of Nova Scotia, a unique expression of our Province’s distinct terroir. Triple distillation ensures that only the purest hearts are captured for our farm-to-bottle vodka.

The result is a soft, smooth and creamy vodka that is a pleasure to enjoy on its own, over ice, or mixed in one of our many signature cocktails. We look forward to Virga Vodka being a part of your celebrations as we toast all that Nova Scotia has to offer the world.

We invite you to share your Virga celebrations with us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Mermaids in Nova Scotia

Mermaid woodcut superimposed on ocean horizon

Mermaids have been fascinating people since the earliest of times. From the great Syrian goddess Atargatis, who makes a splash in 1000 B.C., to modern sightings, that continue to our day.  The enchanting mermaid surfaces in many cultures and civilizations around the world.

With Nova Scotia being surrounded by water, the mermaid has been a part of our folklore for centuries. Mi’kmaq legend talks about the Halfway People, whose upper bodies are human, while fish form their lower bodies. These mermaids warned fishers of impending storms by singing to them. Mermaids have shown up as tattoos on our sailors, with the earliest mermaid tattoos said to help control storms on the seas. Beautiful mermaids have adorned the prows of sailing ships as figureheads.

One of Nova Scotia’s most interesting mermaid stories occurred just up the coast from Guysborough, just off Gabarus. The Cape Brooklyn Eagle newspaper reported the following on August 22, 1886:

“The fishermen of Gabarus, Cape Breton, have been excited over the appearances of a mermaid, seen in the waters by some fishermen a few days ago. While Mr. Bagnall, accompanied by several fishermen, was out in a boat, they observed floating on the surface of the water a few yards from the boat what they supposed to be a corpse. Approaching it for the purpose of taking it ashore, they observed it to move, when to their great surprise, it turned around in a sitting position and looked at them and disappeared. A few moments after [,] it appeared on the surface and again looked toward them, after which it disappeared altogether. The face, head, shoulders and arms resembled those of a human being, but the lower extremities had the appearance of a fish. The back of its head was covered with long, dark hair resembling a horse’s mane. The arms were shaped like a human being’s, except that the fingers of one hand were very long. The color of the skin was not unlike that of a human being. There is no doubt, that the mysterious stranger is what is known as a mermaid, and the first one ever seen in Cape Breton waters.”

Who knows when the next mermaid will appear off our shores? Somewhere in the mists off the coast of Nova Scotia, a mermaid is waiting to be seen by those pure of heart.

Have an interesting mermaid story or sighting to share? A mermaid tattoo? Please share your mermaid stories and images with us on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Strawberry Beret Cocktail

Strawberry Beret Cocktail

Inspired by Nova Scotia’s Spirited Away craft distilling festival, The Chronicle Herald asked Jared Wall of the Prince George Hotel to develop some seasonal cocktails to showcase the best of the Province’s craft spirits. He chose our handcrafted Virga® Vodka for the Strawberry Beret, his toast to Nova Scotia’s legendary strawberry crop.

Strawberry Beret

  • 1 1/2 fl oz Virga Vodka
  • 1 1/2 fl oz strawberry syrup*
  • 1 fl oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Bitters
  • Skewered strawberry slice

Directions: Add all ingredients to an icefilled cocktail shaker. Shake hard for 12 to 15 seconds and then strain into a rocks glass, filled with fresh ice. Top with 5 to 6 drops Fee Brothers’ Rhubarb Bitters**.

Garnish with skewered strawberry slices.

* To make strawberry syrup, cut and quarter 1 pound Nova Scotia strawberries (fresh or frozen). Add them to a pot with the 4 cups water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low-medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain berries. Even though tempting, do not squeeze the berries — the syrup will stay clear. Return the strained liquid to the same pot, add sugar and bring to a boil again. Cook 2 minutes, skimming any foam. Bottle when cool. The syrup will keep for 3 to 4 weeks, refrigerated.

** Available online at amazon.ca