Sagan Carroll posses with some fermenting jars in Calgary on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. (Photo by Rory Carroll/SAIT)

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people picked up hobbies to pass the time while stuck at home.

Whether they picked up crafts, or started baking bread from scratch, people found ways to make the quarantine experience better. One such person was Sagan Carroll.  

Carroll is a sommelier in training who found his interest in creating beverages during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic back in 2020.

With limited options for in-person training programs, Carroll took it upon himself to start studying the art of liqueur making at home.   

A humble start

Carroll got his start fermenting different fruits in alcohol in his family’s kitchen. Most nights he would get home from work and begin his experimentation. Not only did this allow Carroll to learn more about the art, but he also found his passion for creation.  

“I got into cooking because I’m really bad at a lot of different things. And I was kind of good at it,” said Carroll

Sagan writes out some new recipes to try in Calgary on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. (Photo by Rory Carroll/The Emery Weal)
Sagan writes out some new recipes to try in Calgary on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. (Photo by Rory Carroll/The Emery Weal)

Carroll spent the majority of the first lockdown experimenting with different combinations of ingredients. He took the time to do his own research and took plenty of notes.

Those notes have helped him accomplish both his level one and two Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certifications.

As time has gone on and Carroll has furthered his sommelier training, he has found time to create new experiments. He has always made sure to write his experiments down because he has found that they are always changing. Carroll has found that keeping track of his work this way has been rewarding for his own education.  

“You know the best type of projects you can do are the ones you do for yourself,’ explained Carroll.

Watch and learn more about Sagan Carroll and his journey in the minidocumentary below.

Rory Carroll is the Multimedia Editor for the Weal. You can find more of his work on his Instagram or on his website.

Rory Carroll

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