MOOSE MILK vol. 1: The moose is loose!
Welcome to Moose Milk, the newsletter for Canadians who want to drink well. To get things going, here’s an introductory Q&A with the founding ungulates, Christine Sismondo and Adam McDowell.
Q: What is Moose Milk and who needs it?
Adam McDowell: Well, moose milk (lowercase) is the Canadian military’s answer to egg nog; I wrote about it somewhere that you can track down if you Google it. You should try it sometime, especially if you feel overdue for a hangover.
Moose Milk (uppercase) is our brand-new newsletter, published via a newish tool called Substack. It will be a weekly dose (or more than weekly, for premium subscribers) of drinky goodness for the Canadian who has more than the average level of interest or knowledge.
Christine Sismondo: Moose Milk delivers essential, up-to-the-minute drinks news—the Five Bottles You Need to Know Before You Start Your Weekend. Now, to be honest, it might not always be literally five things—sometimes, it might just be one really important, life-changing thing—but we promise it’ll make your drinking life better. After all, knowledge is power.
AM: And as Canadians, Christine and I are familiar with the peculiarities of the booze landscape here.
Wait, who are you and why should we care what you think?
CS: I’m Christine Sismondo (pronounced “Sismondo”) and, since I’ve been drinking for a long time, I’ve picked up a thing or two. I’m the author of a couple of books on the topic and I’ve written countless stories about wine, spirits and, on occasion, beer. And, since I’ve seen trends come, go and then come back, I can tell you which ones to bother with. And, of course, which ones to skip.
AM: Hi, I’m Adam McDowell (pronounced “Sismondo”). I wrote about drinks for the National Post for a decade; I’ve done the same for a bunch of other outlets as a freelance writer; I appeared on CTV’s The Social as the resident drinks guy for a few years; blah blah blah book called Drinks: A User’s Guide. Anyway, in Moose Milk, I’ll be writing about things that I haven’t ever had the chance to share before — think of it as a veteran/insider’s take on hooch.
What are some things you're looking forward to writing about?
CS: Since a lot of what I write is aimed at a general audience, a newsletter like Moose Milk represents an opportunity to focus on hidden gems and niche products. I’m looking forward to having an excuse to do a deep dive into agave spirits, funky rums and wine from weird regions.
AM: I’ve got a rant about serving sizes for beer that’s going to burst out of me soon, so that’s one. Also, get ready to read about obscure booze you should track down when you travel (gold star if you know what alchermes is). Speaking of travel, how about some advice on where to drink in various exotic locales, like Bali, and, uh, Pittsburgh? And for readers in Ontario, I’m already tracking down worthwhile picks among the LCBO’s online exclusives.
What do you drink when no one's looking and you don't have to write about it?
CS: Sometimes when I don’t want wine with dinner, I opt for a Chelada, which I make by squeezing an absurd amount of lime juice into an ice-filled pint glass and then carefully filling up with Dos Equis Amber. I imagine beer geeks will forever look down on me for this habit but, as the quote with problematic attribution goes: “What other people think of me is none of my business.”
AM: Sherry or vermouth before dinner. Lots of beer lately — I’m a new dad; I can have a tallboy and (usually) not drop the kid. And I love my cheap-but-tasty Italian and Spanish wines — check out the Nebbiolo I popped open over the weekend; it instantly shot to the top of my list of favourite under-$20 bottles of all time.
Why should I buy a paid subscription to Moose Milk?
AM: Paid subscribers will get access to special posts, some of which may involve product ratings and advice you won’t find elsewhere. And in Substack, only paid subscribers get to comment on posts — so if you want to give feedback …
Subscriptions will also allow us to try more products (there’s a $135 vermouth I have my eye on; aren’t you curious what it tastes like?). If this thing goes well, I’d love to find a way to include subscribers in special tastings.
If the experiment goes really well, we’ve talked about maybe hiring writers in other cities, and even ramping this up into a print magazine. But first, we’re experimenting and gauging support — which we appreciate.
Finally, if it goes really, really well, we’re going to embezzle your money and open a bar, ideally on a beach that touches the Pacific. Adios, suckers.
Subscribe now and our next post will land in your inbox later this week. Cheers to all of our readers, and wish us luck!
— Christine and Adam