By Leesy Latronica
To drive an hour east of downtown San Diego to the small ex-mining town of Julian, Calif., is essentially to time travel to a piece of early America. Modern-day sightings of tourists with iPhones and SUVs are juxtaposed with the occasional horse-and-carriage and a backdrop of rolling hills spotted with apple trees. Situated in the Cuyamaca Mountains, Julian’s 4,000-foot elevation, warm summers and crisp fall air make it an ideal location for plenty of Southern California apple orchards, and Julian Hard Cider is fresh-pressing the crop into a lineup of handcrafted ciders.
Julian Hard Cider’s central philosophy is in line with its rustic, frontier town surroundings—all its recipe honor traditional Colonial American cider making techniques established long before prohibition era. In addition to its original Harvest Apple and Cherry Bomb addition, Julian Hard Cider takes advantage of the summer berry crop with its Black and Blue cider. “American-grown and sustainably farmed” blackberries and blueberries balance the tart, acidic apple flavor with an added juiciness in the mouth. In the glass, the cider is deep purple in color, ever so lightly carbonated and finishes dry after each sip.
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