I’ve loved hard apple cider for a long time. I used to order a cider and black in the UK; getting a hard apple cider draft sweetened with black current syrup. That was a delicious combination. The super sweet black current syrup was tempered by the dry cider. I could drink those all night. I remember after coming back to the US finding apple cider not up to English standards. Wood chuck wasn’t my favorite nor were there many options. The good news is that hard apple cider has recently had a revolution. I think there’s a two fold reasoning behind that: a rise in awareness of the gluten intolerant and a general interest in artisan crafted drinks. Both of these factors has increased demand and production of hard apple ciders. For me that’s great news. There’s so many great brands available for a list of several great ones check out Food & Wine’s list of Excellent Hard Ciders to Drink this Fall.
Recently Meyer found Schilling & Company’s hard cider at our local Whole Foods Market. We picked up the ginger cider but they also produce original, oak aged, and holiday spiced ciders. The ginger cider is crisp with a nice clean bite of ginger. It’s not a sweet cider but more crisp. There’s no lingering cloying flavors just a dry slighting spicy hard apple cider. And the best part is they note it’s gluten free right on the can. Of course you say, it should be gluten free. But just remember that some beers have added apple flavoring so you do need to watch out for the impostor ciders. But getting back to the Schilling Ciders: I can’t wait to try the oak aged cider! I could certainly see using their cider for cooking as well. I can only imagine how a pork shoulder braised in the holiday spiced cider would make a tasty winter meal. So run out and buy a four pack to enjoy some Schilling cider.