Well, well, well. We’re halfway through Dry January, which can mean less alcohol to some people and more dry cider to others. We, of course, are talking about the latter: Dry Cider January, the American Cider Association’s month-long campaign to promote ciders containing 0 grams of sugar.
“The brain has a hard time distinguishing fruity from sweet,” says Michelle McGrath, the American Cider Association’s executive director, in a recent press release. “Many ciders with absolutely no sugar in them can still be fruit forward. You’ll find there are a multitude of dry ciders available when you start seeking them.”
While a full list of ciders can be found here, we opted to seek our own selection. Check out our list of top 10 dry ciders to sip this Dry January.
Champlain Orchards Kingston Dry
This Vermont cidery went as far to label their cider as “bone dry.” Kingston Dry is a shout out to the orchards’ Jamaican horticulture crew, giving them the credit for making the orchard what it is today. Also featuring the Kingston Black apple and a number of heirloom varieties grown on site, the cider is sharp yet smooth, full bodied and apple forward.
Diskin Cider Bob’s Your Uncle
Extra points for the name, Tennessee-based Diskin Cider tags Bob’s Your Uncle as a traditional English dry cider, topping out with zero added sugars and 6.9% ABV. Their version of a British pub sipper, this tipple showcases pronounced apple with dry tannin and shapely acid. Try pairing it with fried cheese curds.
Island Orchard Brut Reserve Cider
Inspired by their French heritage, Island Orchard Cider in Wisconsin brings a little Old World mentality to their New World ciders. The reserve line — from which this cider hails — features bottlings that lean a little more French. In this case, specific late harvest apples are selected for the blend, which also undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle for vivacious bubbles to match the dry, fruited palate.
SLO Cider Dry
Dry and biting with tartness and crunchy acidity from Granny Smith apples (among others), this California producer cans its flagship cider with sleek black and gold accents, and apple imagery front and center to showcase what matters most. Floral, crisp and clean, this 100% dry cider certainly wets your whistle.
Lost Boy Cider The Comeback Kid
Like all of their ciders, The Comeback Kid has zero residual sugars present in its 6.9% ABV stature. The Virginia cidery exclusively sources and presses apples from the Shenandoah Valley, fermenting this blend with a white-wine yeast to become an off-dry cider. The most fruit forward of this lot, The Comeback Kid is a great transition cider to the drier side.
Eden Cider Cinderella’s Slipper
This cider might be sans bubbles but it is all about them apples, featuring nearly 20 different bittersweets, sharps and sweets grown by Eden Orchards in Vermont. A gold-medal winner from the 2018 Cidercraft Awards to boot, Cinderella’s Slipper is floral with hints of honeycomb, pear and crisp, just-sweet apple.
Seattle Cider Dry
One of the first truly dry commercial ciders on the scene, Seattle Cider’s flagship product features mostly apples from Washington’s Yakima Valley and has almost no residual sugar. The fruit profile ranges from apple and peach to orange and citrus in a dry, tart cider meant to quench the thirst of the masses.
Potter’s Craft Cider Farmhouse Dry
Old Virginia Winesap, Albemarle Pippin and GoldRush apples make up another dry option from the Commonwealth, this time from Potter’s Craft Cider. Golden apple, peach and cantaloupe characteristics are met with sweet herbs and bright acidity in a full-bodied, aromatic sip that calls for a roasted chicken ASAP.
Wild State Cider Classic Dry
Classic Dry is a regular rotator for Wild State, a Minnesota-based cidery zeroed in on making “naturally good cider” (aka no added sugar, concentrates, sobrates or even compromises). This dry cider also stacks in at only 2 grams of carbs and 170 calories. On top of it being lean and clean, it also brings bright apple flavor first and foremost.
Wyndridge Cider Co. Stayman
Stayman Winesap apples (plus a hint of Dabinett) make up the bill of this bone-dry cider that is also fermented with wild yeasts then undergoes secondary fermentation for buoyant, naturally occurring bubbles. Sharp but juicy, tart but fruit focused, Stayman stays strong in structure and tannic texture.
For more information on zero-sugar or low-sugar drinks read: Bright Lights in the current issue of Cidercraft magazine.