You have to try this liqueur inspired by Chicken Bones, the beloved Maritimes treat

bottle of chicken bones liqueur on a wooden background Photo by Moonshine Creek Distillery

When most people think about chicken bones, a simmering pot of broth probably comes to mind. But for anyone with a connection to Canada’s Maritime provinces, Chicken Bones are the ultimate wintertime treat. 

First introduced by New Brunswick’s Ganong confectioners in 1885, Chicken Bones are a spicy cinnamon hard candy with a thin chocolate centre. The small pink rectangular treats bear a passing resemblance to their namesake, provided you have a bit of imagination.


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No East Coast Christmas table is complete without a cut glass bowl of this candy for snacking and occasionally stirring into hot chocolate. The team at Ganong also suggests adding them to raspberry cheesecake bites and sticky popcorn balls. But another company has come up with a modern twist on this old-fashioned flavour: a liqueur.

Chicken Bones Liqueur is the brainchild of New Brunswick’s Moonshine Creek Distillery. They introduced the candy-inspired spirit (which isn’t affiliated with Ganong) in late 2019 and to say it made a splash would be an understatement—New Brunswickers queued for hours just to get their hands on it. This year, bottles of Chicken Bones Liqueur are making their way across Canada. In fact, you might be offered a dram the next time you visit your cottage neighbours.

Here’s how to enjoy it: it’s lovely in any drink where you’d add a nip or two of Baileys, such as your morning coffee or late-night cocoa. And while it’s a dairy-free product, the spirit is perfect in creamy drinks. “My absolute favourite way to enjoy the Chicken Bones Liqueur is in eggnog. It’s perfect in its simplicity for the holiday season,” says Jeremiah Clark, CEO of Moonshine Creek.

Chicken Bones Liqueur is also very much at home in any recipe that relies on creme de cacao.  According to Jeremiah, a Brandy Alexander is particularly nice when made with Chicken Bones. He suggests a ratio of two ounces of aged brandy, one ounce of Chicken Bones, and one ounce of half-and-half cream. For an extra frothy treat, shake the ingredients without ice and top off the drink with some freshly grated nutmeg. 

However, for those who prefer things a little less creamy, the distillery’s “Dressed To Impress” cocktail will hit a refreshing note. It combines Chicken Bones Liqueur with blood orange juice, egg white, simple syrup, and other spirits for a brunch-friendly libation that would easily convince your friends to help you repair the dock and stain the deck.

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