Cherries tend to grow where apples do, but geographical conveniences aside, there is still something incredibly satisfying about cherry cider. The acidity of a well made cider can elevate common sweet cherries from bland to brilliant, while cider's complexity and tannic structure can give weight to tart cherries and bring out their flavor. We sampled several cherry ciders from around the country to find some favorites to recommend.
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The name Greg Hall is well known in the world of craft beer—Hall was an early advocate of beer pairings and the man behind the world class beers at Goose Island Beer Co. Greg's newest obsession is cider, and the first pints from his Virtue Cider venture are now on tap in Chicago.
By using sparkling cider instead of soda water or sugary mixers, these summer cider cocktails combine the complexity of our winter favorites with a lighter body and lower alcohol. They pair perfectly with simple grillables, your latest CSA delivery, and Saturday afternoons poolside.
Perry is to pears as cider is to apples. Perry, a fermented pear beverage, has much in common with cider in terms of history and production. Here are a few of our favorite bottles to seek out.
We caught up with Crystie and Keith Kisler, co-owners with of Chimacum, Washington's Finnriver Farm & Cidery, to talk about living close to the earth and their methods for making cider.
If traditional cider is delicate and nuanced, ice cider is its complex and assertive counterpart. Served cold, ice cider takes the best aspects of cider and intensifies them, layer upon layer, for a sipping drink bursting with the full spectrum of apple-y, earthy cider flavors.
Cider may seem like an unlikely cocktail ingredient: it's not that sweet, it doesn't contain a lot of alcohol, and it can't be left on the shelf of a bar overnight. But these drawbacks are actually advantages in disguise. Cider's freshness and low alcohol add lightness to cocktails. You're left with a more drinkable cocktail, and cider's tart character can dry out the sweetness of heavy liquors and elevate the barrel-aged quality of amber spirits.
Apples and beer have a long intermingled history. In Germany, you'll see Frassbraus, a nonalcoholic beverage made from malt extract, apples, and spices. Belgians include apples in their pomme lambics. The British mix up an apple shandy called the Snakebite. So it's only natural that today's brewers and cidermakers are bringing apples and beer together again. We recently had a chance to sit down and explore a few of these beverage hybrids.
American's love for cider never really returned after the repeal of Prohibition. But almost a hundred years later, American cider is once again on the rise.
Washington state is quickly becoming a hotbed for American craft cider. We recently caught up with Lars Ringsrud, the master blender and designer/marketer behind Snowdrift Cider Company in Wenatchee, Washington. "We're seeing an incredible momentum around cider right now. It hits the spot for people looking for a new flavor experience. It's gluten-free. It's so Washington!"
Last week on The Cider Press, we talked about the how cider gets from the branches of a tree to a bottle. But what if you don't have a few extra acres to plant an orchard? Here's a guide to the simplest and cheapest way to make cider at home.
Developing a delicious hard cider is no easy feat. From farmer to scientist to master blender, aspiring cidermakers take on a variety of roles through their cider's long journey from fruit to glass. While there are as many methods to cider production as there are apple varieties, here's a general idea of how cider is made.