21 Dec Ciders that Will Surprise and Delight your Christmas Guests
I’ve been reflecting what to serve with our Christmas eve and Christmas day dinner? My go to list typically includes Sonoma County Zinfandels, Italian Super Tuscans or South African Syrahs.
As you can tell from the above, I’m a fan of big, busty reds. I’m also a hard cider fanatic. Why? Four words: fruit, bubbles, price and pairings.
Fruit: There’s an amazing number of artisan ciders that are available in the U.S. now. As you know, ciders were a drink of choice for many of our nation’s founding fathers because they eliminated health issues due to impure drinking water. Better yet, they could be made easily from apples and distributed in colonial America easily with minimal tax compared to other imported alcoholic beverages. In the past decade, artisan cider makers have expanded their repertoire to include other fruits besides apples including: pineapple, pears, cranberries, and more.
Bubbles: Sparkling wines and ciders are a staple in our table. Why? They cut through rich foods and awaken our palates. Less known fact: they also improve gut health and microbiome. Why ciders vs. sparkling wines during the holidays? Ciders pair well with Christmas hams, turkeys and balance decadent side dishes and sauces. The fruit pairs well with roasted meats and holiday spices such as cloves, nutmeg and allspice.
Price: You can get excellent artisan ciders in most metro areas for $10-20 per bottle. A great value compared to French, California or Italian sparkling wines. Better yet, cider can be used for mixed drinks.
Below is a listing of artisan ciders that are interesting and worthy of the holidays. Note: the list is alphabetical, not in order of my personal preference.
Ace Pineapple Cider – great tasting pineapple cider, try it as a mixer in your holiday cocktails
Ascender Ginger Cider – made with apple cider and freshly crushed ginger, perfect for those who like zesty beverages
Cranberry Crosscut Cider – a different take on apple ciders, pairs perfectly with holiday muffins and pies
Crispin Original Hard Cider – not so sweet, widely available, great for sipping
Reverend Nat’s Sacrilege Sour Cherry – interesting blend of Granny Smith apples and Montmorency sour cherries
Seattle Dry Cider – if you don’t like sweets ciders, this one is sure to please
Stem Pear Cider – off-dry cider, interesting taste worth trying
Two Rivers Pomegranate Cider – award-winning blend of apple cider and pomegranate, light and tart
Wolffer Estate Dry Rose Cider – if you like sparkling rose wines, you won’t be disappointed