Quebec's maple syrup producers are launching what they say is a worldwide first: 100 per cent pure maple water.
The new product, described as having a "fresh and delicately sweet flavour," makes a fine accompaniment to a gourmet meal, says the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.
It's also ideal as a thirst-quencher in the summer or to rehydrate your system after physical exercise, the organization claims.
The drink, the result of seven years of R&D, comes from a naturally occurring liquid in the maple tree.
The federation says the liquid will be harvested every spring, then sterilized using a method it developed that allows the maple water to be kept for up to 18 months at room temperature.
Three brands are currently going through the certification process: Seva, Oviva and Maple3.
"We are very proud to announce the launch of this new agricultural product that will help to promote maple and Quebec among the commercial sector and consumers everywhere. This universal product will also boost employment and the economy in the region," federation president Serge Beaulieu said in a news release.
Genèvieve Béland, the group's director of promotions and market development, says tasting maple water is "like experiencing or reliving the experience of drinking fresh maple water directly from the tree.
"The product has so much promise, in that we can now imagine a range of applications to meet market demand."
The federation says that, historically, First Nations people and fur traders drank maple water as a tonic.