As Faith reminded us a few weeks ago, hard cider was the true drink of the early American settlers. How appropriate for Thanksgiving! And as it so happens, we also think that hard cider would pair particularly well with the turkey and all our favorite Thanksgiving sides. Do you have a hard cider to recommend?
The hard ciders we've tried all have a similar effervescent quality and slight sourness that really wake up our taste buds. When we're eating a lot of rich and heavy foods, this is the kind of quality we want - something that freshens our palate and get us ready for the next bite of turkey with stuffing!
Ciders also tend to have a lot of caramel and fruit flavors that compliment the roasted flavors in the meat, the dried fruit in the stuffing, and the sweet flavors in all those Thanksgiving pies! They are also interesting and complex enough to enjoy on their own either before or after the meal.
With hard cider making a resurgence, we've had a lot of luck finding locally made bottles. Try to find a wine-seller that specializes in unique finds and ask if they have or could find you some local hard cider. Look for the word "dry" on the label - this will indicate a drink that is (theoretically) less sweet and more suited for drinking with meals.
We also recently tried an organic hard cider from Samuel Smith that we liked quite a bit. It was still rather sweet, but had a nice sour twang and a pleasant fizz on the tongue.
What hard ciders have you tried and liked recently?