What happens when you take fresh-pressed juice and add it to mead? You have now created what is better known as cyser, a hybrid of the anicent fermentation of honey and the equally time-honored production of cider. The trick is to have the right balance between honey and apple juice to consider it a true cyser and make it the perfect balance for cider lovers who aren’t quite accustomed to the flavor profile of mead, but want to venture out. These nine cysers are made throughout North America with traditional methods and some not-so-traditional ingredients. Choose your pick and explore the world of cysers.
Meadow Vista Honey Wines | Bliss Apple
Located in Kelowna, B.C., Meadow Vista produces wines for all palates including their Bliss Apple. Made with crisp, organic Okanagan apple juice, this mead-turned-cyser is a summertime hit in Canada’s most western province. Poured with a clear, golden hue, enjoy this cyser over ice or in a flute with a twist. The bright flavors are to be enjoyed with lighter fare like smoked chicken or pulled pork sliders and coleslaw.
Nectar Creek/2 Towns Ciderhouse Collaboration | Super Cyser
Neighboring fermenters in Corvallis, Oregon, decided to fuse their products together to produce a flavor-blasted, dessert-style cyser instilled with passion and friendship. This collaboration between the two Oregon companies is a blend of Northwest grown apples and rich Willamette Valley honey. Using wild yeast and French oak barrels, the Super Cyser is aged for more than 18 months, producing a dry cyser with notes of apricots, wild honey and oaky wood. This beauty also took home the mead category gold during GLINTCAP 2016.
MillStone Cellars | Bonfire
A unique beverage in itself, the Bonfire is a barrel-aged cyser made with heirloom apples, clover honey and smoked fish peppers to give it that warming and unique flavor profile. Step away from the classic “apple pie in a glass” method and take a walk on the wild side with the perfect balance of spicy, fruity and smoky. The Maryland-based cidery produces this smoky libation annually and is typically available from October through December, keeping you toasty through the cold, winter months.
Moonlight Meadery | Blossom
This 15-year-old recipe made with fresh-pressed apple cider from Sunnycrest Orchards in Londonderry, New Hampshire, continues to awe sippers with each passing year. Starting out sweet on the nose, it begins to develop intensity as you continue to sip finishing with notes of vanilla, tart orange peels and undercurrents of oak. The light, refreshing profile of this cyser allows for pairing with cheese plates, poultry or seafood. A perfect springtime cyser, the Blossom is sure to wow guests and be enjoyed year round.
Oregon Mead & Cider Co. | Free Press Cyser
The family-owned and operated meadery and cidery in Portland, Oregon, produces award-winning products that have gained national recognition in recent years as drinkers in the Rose City have branched out into discovering the many beverages (mead, cider and cyser) of this maker. Using premium Northwest ingredients, the company treats their products with respect by leaving them unfiltered, without sulfites and in their natural state of flavor. The Free Press cyser is the perfect balance of dry and tart, with just a hint of sweetness that doesn’t overpower the apple flavor.
St. Ambrose Cellars | X.R. Cyser
Crafted from Michigan’s finest Northern Spy apples, the X.R. Cyser “demands that you exercise your right to refreshment.” St. Ambrose Cellars takes the fresh-pressed juice and combines Star Thistle honey, maple syrup and just a hint of cinnamon to achieve this draft-style cyser. This sweet blend is perfect for dessert if you want that apple pie flavor without the heavy dose of caloric intake.
Red Branch Cider Co. | Hard Apple and Honey Cider
A traditional cyser — with Northwest fresh-pressed apple juice fermented alongside honey — this California producers carries the label of cider to reach a broader audience and bring them into the world of new age cyser. This blend is the most traditional of the lot, tasting of juice red apples laced with floral, earthy honey. Other flavors fuse in more fruit, like black cherry, raspberry and lemon for further exploration.
Eaglemount Wine & Cider | Cyser
Fermenters of all things available on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, this family-run, farm-based operation takes their estate, organic heirloom apple varieties and local, untreated honey from a nearby orchard for a slightly sparkling, semi-sweet toast to apples kissed with honey. A perfect pairing for a first course, this cyser sings next to salads with apple cider vinegar or citrus-based dressings.
Blake’s Hard Cider | Cyser
A multigenerational farming family from Armada, Michigan, Blake’s uses estate honey — from bees that far as far as three miles in search of flowers, providing a richness and depth to their honey — to meld with the apple base for a sparkling sipper that is heavier on floral and fruit notes than overwhelming with honey. Delicate and bubbly, this cyser smells and tastes like an orchard. Find some sharp cheese and enjoy.