Alcoholic Drink 2022
Photograph courtesy of Field Notes | Written by Tsering Asha

Don’t Call Me Sweet Pea Garden Amaro

By Field Notes | Made in Edmonton/Fort Saskatchewan

After working in economic development for four years, Faaiza Ramji understood the A to B of export, as well as the agricultural supply chain — selling raw ingredients to countries that process them into more complete, value-added products and then buying them back at higher price points. She was compelled to localize that process.

At first, Ramji experimented with peas and pulses to make a dairy alternative, until she recognized the potential of Alberta’s brewing and distilling culture. This sprouted another idea: Could she turn field peas, along with other ingredients native to the Canadian Prairies — honey, botanicals and natural grains — into a decidedly Albertan amaro?

Don’t Call Me Sweet Pea Garden Amaro, a delicious, prairie-inspired herbal liqueur, is the result.

Along with Italian aperitivo culture, Ramji took inspiration from her South Asian upbringing — her grandma, aunts and mom always talked about using natural remedies to aid digestion, immunity and skin care — to create what she calls her “garden amaro,” made with locally foraged roots, barks, berries and herbs, like sage and dandelion.

“I wanted to make something that tasted kind of like the prairies and something that was very herbaceous, like you were walking through a garden or a forest,” Ramji says.

The spirit is a purely Albertan product, from start to shelf. “The more that we can do with an industry within the province, the better for the province,” says Ramji. “We can add jobs, we can add more GDP, and we’ve got more tax revenue coming in, which is great for creating that prosperity that we need.”

You can find Don’t Call Me Sweet Pea Garden Amaro at shops across the province.

$32 to $38

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