We all know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away but what about when those apples are paired with flowers and herbs? That’s exactly what many cideries have begun to experiment with, using cider ingredients that stray far from the scope of just apples (or even other fruit for that matter). From lavender to basil, the following ciders are sure to include a range of ingredients straight out of your home garden.
Seattle Cider Co. Gin Botanical || Seattle
Made with a wide range of apples, including Granny Smith, Fuji and Gala, this cider was also fermented with the spent gin botanicals from Seattle-based distillery, Batch 206. Not content to stop there, this complex cider also features notes of lemon, orange, cucumber, verbena and, of course, juniper.
Woodchuck Hard Cider June & Juice || Middlebury, VT
Continuing the theme of mixing the flavors of both cider and gin is June & Juice, a member of Woodchuck Cider’s Out On A Limb offerings. This cider aims to bridge the gap between cider and spirits by taking the juniper berries essential to gin and combining them with the apples used to make their cider. To round it all off, Woodchuck adds a hint of citrus and rose petals. Act fast though, as this cider releases in July and will only be available while supplies last.
Schilling Cider House Bail Out! || Seattle
Another summer seasonal, Schilling Cider House’s new Bail Out! is a cider made with dessert apples, lemongrass and agave nectar. A very sessionable cider, Bail Out! also has notes of citrus tied into its herbaceous character. Bail Out! is available May through August.
Colorado Cider Co. Grasshop-ah || Denver, CO
Billing it as a gateway cider for beer lovers, Colorado Cider’s Grasshop-ah is made with a mixture of hops and lemongrass, resulting in a complex flavor profile that also includes notes of wintergreen and peppercorns. While potentially heretical to cider purists, hoppy beer lovers should feel right at home with this complex cider.
Wildcraft Cider Works Wild Rose || Eugene, OR
For their original botanical offering (now one of many), Wildcraft Cider Works has taken Oregon’s famous wild roses and added them to their flagship dry cider via a secondary fermentation process. This is a dry, aromatic cider with strong notes of rose petals from start to finish.
Awestruck Ciders Lavender Hops || Walton, NY
Another hoppy cider, Lavender Hops from New York-based Awestruck Ciders targeting fans of cider and beer alike. With a light lavender aroma and taste, this cider blends the hoppiness of beer and the apples of cider to create a drink that is truly unique.
Finnriver Farm & Cidery Black Currant Lavender || Chimacum, WA
Finnriver’s Black Currant Lavender is a slightly tart cider made a blend of apples from the cidery’s own orchard, black currants and lavender from the Purple Haze Lavender Farm in nearby Sequim, Washington. With additional hints of spices, raisins, and grape must, Finnriver had created a medium-bodied cider that should appeal to fruit and flower lovers alike.