Valentine’s Day is right around the corner which means the grocery store will be displaying all your favorite treats, forcing you to exercise (or not exercise) self-restraint. This year instead of heading straight to the chocolate and candy, consider some of these alternative sweet- and Valentine’s Day-inspired ciders.
Love’s Labor | Tilted Shed Ciderworks
Start your Valentine’s Day drinking with Tilted Shed Ciderwork’s Love’s Labor — a bubbly, rose-hued cider that was just released from the Sonoma County cidery. A mix of fresh-pressed Sebastopol grown apples are fermented with blackberries from the estate farm and elderberries foraged from the nearby Russian River. Make a cheese plate or get some oysters to drink with this cider.
Tart Side of the Moon | Mad Moon Cider
Sometimes you don’t want chocolate and that’s OK. This Ohio cidery takes one of your favorite holiday candies — SweeTarts — and infuses them into a tasty cider. The producer managed to even get SweeTarts permission to use the brand name candy in the process and for marketing purposes. The cider itself is as expected — tart and semi-sweet.
Cacao Wine | Finn River Farm and Cidery
Crack it this apple brandy during the dessert course, or as dessert, from the farm-based Washington producer. Cacao from Theo’s Chocolates in Seattle and apple brandy from nearby Skip Rock Distillery take this drink to the next level. Create your own cocktail with this versatile wine or stick with the dessert theme and grab some vanilla ice cream with some some caramelized apples.
Swipe Right | Humboldt Cider Co.
Maybe this year you’re single for the day that celebrates love and prefer it that way! Gather all your pals and some of this cider from the Northern California maker as you celebrate your independence together. Open up a dating app and pour yourself a glass of the cherry-and honey-infused cider and you’ll soon forget you were shopping dates on apps thanks to this fruity-sweet sip.
Chocolate Cherry | Summit Hard Cider
This Colorado cidery’s Chocolate Cherry flavor is perfect for your Valentine’s Day needs, marrying the almost-natural pairing of chocolate and cherry together, with the added bonus of cider. The tartness of the cherries balances out the sweetness from the chocolate, making it a cider that’ll go down perhap a bit too easy.
Ruby Rose | Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse
Infused with rhubarb, this lovely pink cider is semi-sweet and has notes of green apple and rose hips. Part of Sea Cider’s Canadian Invasion Series — which supports efforts to combat invasive species — you can feel good about buying an extra bottle of this cider for your Valentine’s Day dinner. Pair it with some seafood like prawns, or get some fancy cheese and call it a night.