By Leesy Latronica
If you’ve found yourself here, chances are you appreciate a good, cold bottle of craft cider, either on its own or alongside a meal (and if that’s not yet the case, you’ve come to the right place). Maybe you’re well versed in unique food and cider pairings, but what happens when cider is directly infused into your favorite cuisine? Across the nation, foodies are experimenting by introducing beloved cider flavor into pastries, chocolates, smoked meat, side dishes and more. We’ve compiled a few favorite players at the forefront of beverages-turned-edible.
FROST (Mill Creek, WA): Just in time for fall, Seattle-area dessert lounge FROST has joined forces with Woodinville, Wash.,-based Grizzly Ciderworks to spruce up the bakery’s fritters and cupcakes. What better excuse for the Pacific Northwest to enjoy local cider at breakfast than the Grizzly Hard Apple Cider Fritter? The classic apple fritter gets a dry-hopped cider kick (courtesy of Grizzly), complimented by the characteristic crunch of the cider-glazed fritter shell. For dessert, the Grizzly Hard Apple Cider Cupcake is topped with cinnamon Italian buttercream frosting and finished with a piece of house made, cider-infused hard candy.
Lake Champlain Chocolates (Burlington, VT): Chocolatiers at Burlington, Vt.,’s Lake Champlain are paying tribute to their neighbors at local Citizen Cider with the Chocolate-Covered Apple Cider Caramels. Infused with signature syrup from Happy Valley Orchard apples and finished with a splash of Citizen Cider’s Unified Press before coated in a layer of milk chocolate, these limited supply caramels are only available twice a year in March and October. Lake Champlain chocolatiers liken this confection to a caramel apple, amped up with the addition of cider, Vermont apple juice and chocolate.
The Old Mine Cidery & Brewpub (Erie, CO): In northern Colorado, The Old Mine Cidery offers a comprehensive list of locally and nationally brewed beers and ciders. Four of the ciders are ultra-local—crafted at The Old Mine’s own cidery. The original, sweet and dry Handlebar Hard Cider is served up at the brewpub, by the glass as well as injected into the slow-smoked Jurassic Pork. Prior to smoking for 12 hours, the pork receives a rubdown of spices and is injected with a healthy dose of Handlebar to add depth to classic, sweet-and-smoky pulled pork.
Looking to try cooking with cider at home? Try swapping the white wine for your favorite craft cider in your next batch of cheese fondue.