By N. R. Mallery
For those of us that tap our trees in late winter to early spring, the sweet taste of that first flowing sap is a long awaited treat. If you have ever sipped or sucked on the fresh sap directly from the tree, you will agree that this opportunity is worth waiting for.
When sugaring season is over, you can still enjoy the subtle sweetness of the fresh taste of maple sap, thanks to Bob and Rich Münch of Poultney, Vermont. When the brothers were sipping maple sap while doing some backyard maple syrup making, they came up with a great idea. With a little carbonation, a terrific beverage, that only maple sap tapped right from the maple tree could provide, could be bottled and enjoyed all year long!
A few years ago, while staying at a B&B here in Vermont, I had my first taste of this subtly sweet and natural refreshment — which made a lasting impression. Not knowing the name of the maker, I was left to only a fond memory until the first trees are tapped each sugaring season. But, this past fall, I was lured to a bottle in a local business that specializes in Vermont-made products. The label said, Vermont Maple Juice, a Maple Seltzer. My curiosity was piqued. Reading further, it said “No preservatives, no artificial color or flavor, no sugar, no sodium,” and that it was made locally. What persuaded me that I had to try this unusual product was the story on the label: “An all-natural product that starts when winter draws to an end and the days become warm and sunny.” and continues, “The mountain snows are naturally filtered through the roots of the sugar maple. The roots send forth their stored nutrients up into the crown of the tree where small amounts are tapped-off to create this refreshing light sparkling drink with a hint of maple sweetness.” The “sugarer” in me drooled forth and I am now hooked.
Although it is available at the food buying club I belong to, I do see it at many other local outlets, or you can order it from their website. In fact, at Thanksgiving time, my daughter-in-law from California could not get enough of it. Guess what she got for Christmas — a case of Maple Seltzer.
So – as you are enjoying the wonderful taste of this year’s maple harvest, remember that you can enjoy it all year long. It’s more than a novelty, it’s refreshingly yummy.
To learn more visit www.vtsweetwater.com