In My Backyard - Thirsty Whale

Jordie Yow

The first in our new series! In My Backyard is a celebration of local producers who are making our cocktail scene better by making delicious ingredients right here in British Columbia.


Lia Padgett of Thirsty Whale Elixirs

To kick things off we have Lia Padgett from Thirsty Whale Elixirs telling us a little bit about herself and the delicious shrubs she makes. We absolutely love her passion for her product and the taste of her drinks when combined with a splash of prosecco.

Thirsty Whale Elixirs

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself! Who are you?

A. I grew up on a farm in the beautiful Pemberton Valley. Where I learned to garden, to process (can and freeze) fruit and veggies for winter use, to bake bread and many other useful “life skills” from my mother and grandmother. I feel that every kid should spend some time living on a farm in their formative years, as you learn to “MacGyver” tasks with the tools you have in front of you and quick thinking. Also, getting a little, or a lot, dirty never hurt anyone!

Now I live on Commercial Drive and love building a small business community and supporting my fellow entrepreneurs.

Q. Why'd you want to start Thirsty Whale?

A. Once I fell in love with shrubs, I knew others would as well. So after six months of business planning and recipe experimentation I opened the business—Canada's first retail-ready shrub company. I discovered that there are very few healthy cocktail and soda mixers available and bringing a new product into a competitive marketplace would be a challenge. So I said, "Challenge accepted."

Q. What's a shrub and what are they good for?

A. Shrubs are cocktail and soda mixers made with apple cider vinegar, fruit and cane sugar. Mixing just ¾ oz of shrub with your favourite spirit and a splash of soda water gives you a great healthy cocktail. You can also add it to many classic cocktails, with just soda water or hot water.

Sound interesting? We currently have Lia's full line of flavours: Cranberry Ginger, Strawberry Rhubarb, Peach Vanilla Cardamom, Pear Thyme, Apple Spice and Blueberry Lavender.