Yaaayy it's time for more cider. It seems like we're just at the end of cider season, but I thought for Five on Friday and High Five for Friday, I'd share a few more of my Fall 2014 favorites as well as a craft that you've probably seen 1,000 times on Pinterest. Here's the post on my first set of 2014 favorites, in case you missed it.
1. Johnny Appleseed: This cider just came out this year. So far, this is the only product they make, and it's pretty good. It's similar to Angry Orchard Crisp but is a bit less sweet with a little more tart apple bite.
2. Ace Apple Hard Cider: Earlier this fall when I asked for new cider ideas, Kerry suggested Ace Pineapple. Well, after 3 months of looking, I cannot find it anywhere in Charleston. I did, however, find Ace Apple. For an "original" cider, it was much more dry than I anticipated (normally a company's first cider tends to be more on the sweet side), but I tend to go for dry ciders anyway, so I loved it. There was nothing really special about it, just a nice apple flavor. I will definitely be on the lookout for more Ace ciders, they make it with so many different fruits and I'd love to try grape or pineapple!
3. Crispin Original: It's been a long time since I reviewed a Crispin cider. They always suggest you drink Crispin over ice, but I am all about right out of the bottle. I'm convinced they do that to cut the sweetness haha. Now that I've had a lot of different ciders, I can definitely say that this one is very sweet. Like I said above, "traditional" or "original" company ciders tend to be sweet with a separate dry, or Brut as Crispin does it, counterpart. One thing that Crispin is fantastic for is cocktails. My favorite is to start with a shot of vodka and a splash of ginger ale, and then fill the glass the rest of the way with Crispin.
4. Oh Strongbow, have you ever heard the expression, "don't mess with success"? Yeah, I didn't think so. Last year, they had one cider. It was perfect. Now they have two: Gold Apple and Honey and Apple. Let's start with the gold, have you ever eaten a golden apple, say a golden delicious or a ginger gold? Yeah, there's not much to them. Why on earth would you signature cider be gold apple? This cider tastes a lot like the Woodchuck Crisp I tried last year and they have since discontinued. (It wasn't even worth a picture.) Their other cider, Honey and Apple is pretty good. It's nothing compared to their original cider, but it does have a different sweetness from the honey that makes it unique. My only suggestion is not to leave this one in the fridge too long. We found one in our 2 months after we bought them and it seemed like, in that time, the honey flavor completely took over the apple flavor.
5. Now, if you want to be everyone's favorite elf this year, here's what you have to do: Find a local cider, okay, we used Charleston beer (open a cidery, Chucktown!!!), and make these. We are using these for a Yankee Swap and seriously, how cute are they?! Don't worry, they already made it back up North with Mom and Dad, so we won't have to take them on the plane up to CT. The only change I made from the famous pin was making only one reindeer "Rudolph" and the rest his little friends.