It was a long and sometimes fruitless – but mostly very fruitful in the apple sense – journey for Burlington, Vermont’s Citizen Cider, but the once small-batch cidery has successfully settled into the acclaim of the East Coast cider world. Partnering with Middlebury’s Happy Valley Orchard and a few other local orchards, Citizen Cider sources 100-percent Vermont-grown apples and cider for their products, which run in high demand amongst the region’s seasoned sippers.
Throughout their journey, the folks at Citizen Cider not only became expert cider makers, but also pairing purveyors. At Citizen’s tasting room, visitors can taste the ciders alongside a plate of fittingly paired food, for example, during “Taco Tuesday” or “Hot Dog and a Can Thursday.” Chef Damian Bittrolff says these smaller plates are “meant for first time Citizen Cider drinkers to pair with the ciders they are trying.”
A good place to start? According to Bittrolff, you can’t go wrong with a classic plate of wings. In this case, Fiery Apple Wings, which use Citizen’s Dirty Mayor cider in the recipe. Bittrolff says the cider, with its hints of ginger and lemon, complement the spicy sauces in the wings. “Hot wings and cider are a pairing that go together really well – spice meets sweet,” he says.
Head to the cidery’s Pine Street location in Burlington or make a batch yourself at home. And since you can never have too much cider, Bittrolff recommends pairing the already cider-soaked wings with a Dirty Mayor or Unified Press. Bring on the heat!
Fiery Apple Wings
Makes one dozen wings
3 tbs minced garlic
2 cups of Citizen Cider Dirty Mayor
2 cups of Frank’s Red Hot
3 tbs of butter
1/2 cup of Sriracha
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chives