I had two thoughts when I picked up this cider from a local brewer: "This could be awesome" and "This could taste like alcoholized black cherry soda." Either way, I figured this would be a win-win situation.
Beverage Details: Hard Black Cherry Soda from Red Branch Cider Company, Sunnyvale, CA (Hard Cider, 6.9% ABV)
Appearance: Clear, light pink-red
Aroma: Sweet, like cherry soda
Taste: A blast of fresh ripe cherry upfront with some tart apple-y flavors mid-sip. Softer cherry juice flavors linger on into the finish. This cider is definitely more soda-sweet than tart, but there's a definite bite there. Gently fizzing and refreshing.
Personally, I'd like a bit more of crispness and dryness to make me feel like I'm drinking hard cider instead of soda, but on the whole, I think this is a great choice for both casual sipping and a dinner party scenario. It would have real appeal for folks who like sweeter drinks and want something lighter than wine with dinner.
Food Pairing: This would go so perfectly with a fall dinner: winter squash stuffed with wild rice, sautéed dark greens, and buttery roast chicken.
Have you tried this cider? Have another to recommend?
Related: Simple Cocktails with Fresh Cider
(Image: Emma Christensen)