The exact origin of this lemonade recipe is lost in the Maritime mists of our ancestry. We do know it was a cherished drink of our great-grandmother Aravess, a spirited sea captain’s daughter named after one of his favorite ships. “Vessie” often used her shipping trade connections to ensure a steady supply of lemons during the late 1800’s.
From the 19th to the 20th centuries and over the decades, gallons upon gallons of Lighthouse Lemonade have been brewed and consumed at the summer cottages at Cape Tormentine, NB. It was the perfect refreshment for generations of Fawcett’s and Fisher’s, young and old, who have enjoyed the red rippled sandbars and briny breezes of Northumberland Strait.
Lighthouse Lemonade is still crafted using the simplest of ingredients and the original recipe that made visits with Vessie such a hit. One of our greatest claims to fame is Lighthouse Lemonade was served by Rideau Hall at the royal reception hosted on Canada Day 2011, for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a.k.a. Prince William and Kate, on their first official trip to Canada. Vessie would have been thrilled!
The lighthouse on our label is the Cape Jourimain Lighthouse, erected in 1869. Perched on red sandstone cliffs, it guided many ships safely through the Northumberland Strait: the salt waters separating New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Lighthouse Lemonade is proudly sold in the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre’s gift shop, and was the Centre’s 2018 Heritage Signature Drink.
Mother of 4, Ironman triathlete and keeper of the recipe, Jill Fisher’s family story is truly a message in a bottle. Much like great-grandmother Vessie, this Stratford Chefs School graduate has long won over family, friends, and cooking colleagues with her lemonade. She is a direct descendant of Charles Fisher, a Father of Canadian Confederation. Using a recipe passed down through the generations, and symbolized by the Cape Jourimain lighthouse so central to this line of Maritimers, Jill has captured the essence of family, tradition and breezy summers gone by with her refreshingly natural elixir.
Jill started Lighthouse Lemonade in 2009 at the age of 50 after rave reviews from culinary colleagues, family and friends alike. She was selected by a panel of Canadian and American judges for a WISE 50 over 50 award in 2019, which celebrates entrepreneurs over the age of 50 for their Wisdom, Initiative, Skills and Experience (WISE). Lighthouse Lemonade supports environmental responsibility and community involvement because of Jill’s own values, and has participated in charitable events such as Ottawa Lemonade Standemonium and Tour de Guelph.
Featured on the Marilyn Dennis Show in June 2017: “The best Canadian products for celebrating our nation’s big birthday”
Rideau Hall served Lighthouse Lemonade at the royal reception for the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate) on Canada Day 2011.
In The News
“Lighthouse Lemonade: Royally Refreshing” – Ottawa Citizen, July 2014
Lighthouse Lemonade is a proud supporter of charitable organizations.
Lemonade Standemonium, Ottawa
We are a proud sponsor of Lemonade Standemonium, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s biggest fundraiser of the year. We are looking forward to our 5th year in 2021!
Guelph Food Bank
Centre Wellington Food Bank
(Top Left) After a day of sailing across the Strait to Prince Edward Island and back, sail boats list to port side at low tide on the sandbars, Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick – Circa 1935
(Top Right) Vessie’s descendants circa 1960 at the cottage. Jill is not quite visible yet, but is in the front row!
(Top Middle) Vessie, at the cottage, sipping her tea with a splash of Lighthouse Lemonade in it – Circa 1942
(Bottom Right) Vessie and Hot’s cottage, overlooking the red sandstone cliffs at Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick, where great quantities of Lighthouse Lemonade were made and consumed (with and without alcohol) – Circa 1944
(Bottom Left) Vessie, her 5 children and husband Horace Fawcett, whose nickname was “Hot”, due to his flaming red hair! Circa 1900
(Bottom Middle) Vessie on her 80th birthday, February 28, 1944 with her youngest daughter Kathleen “Kay”, our paternal grandmother.
(Below) Aravess (nee Lowerison) Fawcett on her wedding day, June 15, 1887 Amherst, Nova Scotia.