Fresh, fermented or baked in a pie, apples are in season. And lately, it seems more and more apples are rolling their way onto my shelves. Whether it’s fermented into ciders or blended into liquors, apple is the new hot flavor. People with Celiac disease are rejoicing at the many different styles of ciders that are produced without gluten. Sam Adam’s Angry Orchard, Woodchuck, Strongbow, Magners, Vander Mill, and J.K. Scrumpy’s are all gluten-free ciders that we carry at Nino’s! Even two pretty famous guys, Evan William and Jack Daniels, have jumped on the apple wagon, producing cider drinks that are yummy on their own or mixed with warm cider. I am also excited about the cream liqueurs that are giving Bailey’s a run for its money! Here are my apple-y picks!
Vander Mill’s Hard Cider
I have already written about the Totally Roasted from Vander Mill, and I can’t say enough good things about its products. Its traditional cider is light, crisp, and semi-sweet, like biting into a fresh Honey Crisp apple. Vander Mill is a Michigan company and uses only Michigan apples, so you can feel good about supporting the economy by picking up one of its four-pack cans.
Neige Ice Cider
Most people have heard of ice wine, but ice cider is a delicious cousin to the famed sweet treat. Unlike ice wine, the apples are pressed first, and the juice is left to freeze in the subzero temperatures of Quebec in January. The resulting ice cider is sweet and rich with bright acidity that leaves the lingering flavors of apple and honey on your palate.
Boyden Valley Winery Vermont Ice Apple Cream
Boyden’s blends its ice cider, apple brandy, and fresh Vermont cream to create this sinfully good cream liqueur. Not as rich as most cream liqueurs, Vermont Ice is luscious, with tastes of the Macintosh, Spy and Empire apples used in the ice cider. On the rocks, in coffee, or over warm apple pie, this is an awesome addition to any holiday party.
Instead of giving your teacher a shiny apple, why not leave one of these on his or her desk?