Fredericton — Get ready to pop your cork this Valentine’s Day, Fredericton. Literally.
Tim Hortons stirs this Feb. 14 up with a very special specialty drink: its traditional coffee topped off with a splash of sparkling wine. It’s the Timosa.
“Tim Hortons is already the Champagne of coffee. Now we’re adding the Champagne into the coffee,” said Marjorie Kennington, director of marketing.
The coffee and donut company teamed with Andres and its line of Baby Canadian Champagne for this Valentine venture, which is based on the classic mimosa (sparkling wine and orange juice).
Kennington explained that the idea percolated unexpectedly. “The whole upper brass were enjoying mimosas at a Leafs game when one of our VPs noticed that if you swap the ‘m’ with a ’t’ in ‘mimosa’ you get ‘Timosa.’ We said, ‘No, Kent, what you actually get is a brown, fizzy goldmine!’”
While grinding the fine details, Tim Hortons selected one exclusive site to pilot the amorous beverage: the Regent Street location in Fredericton, N.B.
“Fredericton amazes us,” Kennington said. “Even in the thick of Hurricane Arthur last July, when most people would shelter for their lives, hundreds of you were dodging downed wires and avoiding fallen trees to line up at the Regent shop. You’re an inspiration to all of Canada.”
Initially, concerns arose that the downtown venue would get roasted without a licence for alcohol sales. However, the store filtered out permission for the Timosa. “It’s almost completely impossible to get a licence for a one-off promotion like this,” said Brent Millington, a liquor inspector with New Brunswick’s Department of Public Safety.
“Normally, a business selling alcohol has to process a plan for how it’s served: fixtures they’re using, dealing with minors, staff training, etc. It’s a complicated procedure with a high fail rate. Due to that, we just said, ‘What the heck — it’s Valentine’s Day!’ Personally, I can’t wait to line up for this coffee.”
The Timosa is brewing positive sentiments with several in the city.
“I like this idea. A lot,” said Darryl Wattles, a third-year engineering student at UNB. “It combines my morning drinking with my nighttime drinking. I’ll line up for that.”
“It’ll be a lot cheaper than taking a girl to a fancy restaurant, that’s for sure,” said classmate Tim Rathwell. “Doing Valentine’s at Timmies with Timosas and Timbits sounds good. And my name is Tim, too, so hit me up, ladies.”
Should Fredericton take to the Timosa, Kennington said Canada should get ready for a new crop of specialty blends.
“The Timosa also functions to pilot alcohol sales at your favourite coffee franchise,” she said. “Look at Starbucks: this year they’re selling wine in Canadian locations. We also have to consider the surprising popularity this past winter of red wine hot chocolate. To meet consumer demand, we’re planning to support the Timosa with the Long Island Iced Capp and, for kids, the Shirley Tim-ple. Stay tuned.”
Timosa sales start this Saturday morning at 6 a.m. To commemorate the date, the Timosa is priced at $14 for 2 medium cups and $7.50 for single people.