Fall and cider pair perfectly. The cool crisp days match the crisp taste wonderfully well. Luckily for us, we have an amazing assortment of local producers releasing delicious and creative seasonal ciders. Here are four ciders—and a cider cocktail you can make—to keep you warm this fall.
Dark Maple, Locust Cider: Made by blending Washington apples with maple syrup, dates and brown sugar, the fall feeling is strong within these cans, and the flavor layered but dry (don’t think sweet because of the brown sugar) with that apple base and nutty finish. The can itself is memorable, too, with a hint of decorative Halloween-ness. Try this solo (visiting one of their tasting rooms is a good place for that) or in the Fall Frolic cocktail—see recipe below.
Spiced Peach, Seattle Cider Company: This captivating seasonal cider takes drinkers down a stone fruit path, but starts with five different apple varieties, fermented with peach and cardamom—a well-matched fruit and spice blend. As a bonus, keep your eyes open for a second seasonal from them launching October 21 called Punch Bowl, which unveils levels of cranberry, ginger and cherry. They are donating a portion of Punch Bowl sales to Food Lifeline and Second Harvest, too.
Cranberry, Incline Cider Company: A medium sweet, slightly tart number, Incline’s Cranberry boasts a crimson color to match its cranberry-forward nature you smell and sip. Made from 100% fresh-pressed apples with real cranberry juice and a hint of key lime, Incline describes this cider as “a good time with cranberry and lime.” If that doesn’t excite you, I’m not sure what would.
Sun Wukong Mei Mei and Di Di, Republic of Cider: A pair of winter melon ciders, the first—Mei Mei—delivers warm lushness echoing autumn and late summer, thanks to caramelized pineapple, with the second—Di Di—spicier due to the addition of ginger—a chilly day warmer. To try them, make an appointment and visit the cidery in SoDo (2960 4th Ave. S). Fall is all about road trips.
Fall Frolic Cocktail, Your House: Making a cider-based cocktail provides a personal spin on your sipping and having one at seasonal or Halloween parties helps them stand out (rename this Spooktacular Appleacular at will). When creating a cider cocktail, I focus on accenting the cider, Locust’s Dark Maple cider in this case. Here, accents come from Woodinville Whiskey Co.’s award-winning bourbon’s undercurrents of warmth, caramel, and spice, Salish Sea's lovely unique maple-icious Maple liqueur, and Scrappy’s Chocolate bitters’ baking chocolate and spice.
The Fall Frolic
1-1/2 ounces Woodinville Whiskey bourbon
3/4 ounces Salish Sea Maple liqueur
2 dashes Scrappy’s Chocolate bitters
7 ounces Locust Cider’s Dark Maple
1. Add the bourbon, liqueur, and bitters to a mixing glass. Stir well.
2 Fill a pint glass halfway full with ice cubes. Strain the above into the glass.
3. Fill the glass nearly to the top with the cider. Stir well, but carefully—you don’t want to spill a drop!