Friday, September 14, 2012

Hard Cider - Drinking Notes

Not much is more American than hard cider. John Adams drank a tankard of the stuff every morning and proclaimed it was the reason for his longevity (Adams died on Independence Day in 1826 at the age of 90). It featured prominently in the 1840 presidential election that promoted William Henry Harrison as the common man’s candidate since he was the hard cider imbiber. Strangely, though, the only hard cider available by our college years was Woodchuck, a run-of-the-mill, uncomplicated green apple slug (but still light years ahead of gut-destroying malty hard lemonades). Now, however, we have a number of interesting hard ciders from which to choose.

Maiden Rock Honeycrisp Hard
Drinking Notes Series

This little beauty is perfect for hot summer days, light and crisp and just sweet-tart enough to quench the thirst without continuing on to gut-rot levels. Its smell betrays its flavor completely with honeycrisp apple upfront melding into yeasty Asti-like notes. The flavor is not that complex, but fresh and tasty. Maiden Rock's orchard, in Stockholm, Wisconsin, is comprised of half honeycrisp apples for this hard cider; due to the particular apple's demand and taste, expect the Maiden Rock Honeycrisp Hard to set you back more than most ciders, but it's worth it to try.

Potential cocktail compliments: Use Honeycrisp Hard as a substitute for apple juice in a Full Harvest; or mix with a fine cognac, blackstrap rum or Benedictine.

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