When it comes to being the first, Eden Specialty Ciders has no problem accepting the challenge. First to make ice cider in the United States, inspired by the intricately detailed process and remarkably delicate, flavorsome dessert ciders of nearby Québec, Eden also has released an inaugural commercial release of aperitif ciders, “farm-to-bar alternatives” to the mainstream, Euro-sippers wine-based sippers more often seen in cocktails (see Lillet or vermouth).
By taking advantage of the cold northern Vermont winters, concentrated juice is fresh-pressed from traditional cider and heirloom Vermont apples for the ice cider and its ilk and — in the case of the Orleans aperitif cider — is blended with a proprietary blend of herbs, sans added sugar, coloring or flavoring. The Orleans Herbal Cider is bursting with savory flavors and scents, boasting a lingering taste on the tongue resembling the smooth smell of the Hawaiian flower plumeria, paired with lemon, honey, subtle anise, sweet pine and thyme. This sip is best to be served on ice, alone or with a spritz of lime, or use it in cocktails needing some depth in flavor.