Quebec’s Secret Alcohol: Caribou in Ice

Quebec’s Secret Alcohol: Caribou in Ice

There’s a little-known yet very tasty sweet alcoholic beverage that Quebecers drink called Caribou. Here’s what you need to know about it!

What is Caribou?

Perhaps a more important question is: Where did Caribou come from? It was actually the brainchild of a business on Ste-Thérèse Street called Ti-Père.

While it can be consumed hot or cold, the most interesting part of this mysterious drink is that it’s best imbibed from a block of ice. Rather than putting the drink on the rocks, the container replacing what would be your glass is actually the rock itself!


Quebec’s icy drink being poured into a block of ice on an ice bar at the Quebec City Winter Carnival!

Where do people drink it?

Most Caribou is actually consumed during the Quebec Winter Carnival which takes place at the end of January into early February each year. Another noteworthy aspect is that most people who drink it do so outside. So while you’re freezing your tail off at the carnival, you down one to warm up!

The name comes from the early days when people said it resembled caribou blood or that some blood was actually mixed into the drink. Sounds like an urban legend! Ok, it sounds gross but it actually tastes really good!

The Caribou Recipe

Authentic Caribou should contain a mix of vodka, brandy, Canadian sherry and Canadian port.

Different Recipes

The peculiar aspect of Caribou is that there are many variations of the drink. That said, government regulated alcohol stores (Société des alcools du Québec / SAQ) across the province now sell it.

Originally published on March 23, 2015. Slight edits have been made.

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