Summer is ending, and I couldn’t be more excited! Like most people I look forward to the warmer weather and longer days every year, but I’m at my happiest when Fall begins. I love the cooler weather after a long summer (especially in NYC) and I start having those “back-to-school” feelings of starting a new year and setting new goals, even though I’ve been out of college for about three years now. Most of us are already discussing the seasonal items that are now hitting the shelves (ahem, #pumpkinspicelatte). Who doesn’t love comfort-food dishes (chilli!!!), and the return of layering sweaters and scarves? This year let’s not over-look the growing trend of hard ciders. Most bars, grocery and liquor stores will soon be offering a large array of hard ciders and apple ales. I want to share with you my favorite choices for when I’m out at happy hour or “watching” Monday night football with my friends.
Top Three Hard Ciders
1. Angry Orchard
Angry Orchard is available on tap at a lot of bars which usually makes it happy hour inclusive. The original and my favorite is “crisp apple”. It manages to be dry and fruity at the same time, but I think this is the sweetest cider of the three in my list. It pairs with almost anything from the menu, especially a good order of nachos or wings. You can also try the different flavors including Ginger Apple, Green Apple, and Cinnful Apple (perfect addition to a round of fireball whiskey shots).
2. Redd’s Apple Ale
Redd’s is not a cider, but a great alternative when you’re craving a light apple-y beer. The flavor is not bitter at all, it’s very crisp and refreshing. I think this option is more for beer drinkers than cider fans and it’s similar in taste to an Apple Shandy. I love the light color and the slight fizz, it gives me a prosecco feel (#fancy) but an autumn taste. I enjoy both the Apple, and Strawberry Ale.
3. Johnny Appleseed
Of the three, Johnny Appleseed is my favorite, however I may be partial because it was created in Upstate NY in my neck of the woods (what’s up Syracuse??). This cider has the great apple taste and the perfect balance between tart and sweet. Lately I’ve been drinking it while eating popcorn and watching awards shows (#VMAs, #Emmys). So I’m assuming this can also translate to the perfect beverage while you watch football, or perhaps the US Open.
Each of these ciders come in at around 200 calories and 5% alcohol per bottle, so drink responsibly. My list of hard ciders to try this year include Woodchuck Cider, Stella Artois Cidre, and the Apple-ahhh-Rita from Budlight, because I can not get ENOUGH of the Mango-rita. What are your favorites?
xoxo – Ashley Anita