I am so excited to share food and cider with my husband, my mom, and two of my very dear friends this year. Everyone is coming to my house. And how did I get this lucky? By having my birthday on Thanksgiving. Yep! I find that folks are plenty amenable when you get to double up on holidays like that. So consider all of these choices picked to go with a vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast that is also my Birthday Dinner!
I like to start with a welcome glass of cider when someone either walks in the door for Thanksgiving or when the emerge from the kitchen into our part-time dining room. This is the cider that comes before introductions, before sitting down at the table, before anything really.
Eden Sparkling Dry
Yes, this is a known choice. I have reviewed a previous iteration of it before: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/06/cider-review-eden-sparkling-dry-cider.html And it was my #4 cider of 2015. But its just so so good! And it really is the perfect cider to stimulate both conversation and appetite.
Find out more about all of Eden Specialty Ciders here: https://www.edenicedcider.com/
Here's the description of the Sparkling Dry.
Champagne-style cider made from heirloom and bittersweet apple varieties grown in Vermont. 50% of the blend is the famous cider apple 'Kingston Black'. It is naturally sparkling and clean - we hand-disgorge the yeast from every bottle! Goes well with oysters, seafood and vegetable dishes.
My choice to go with something known at the beginning of Thanksgiving is far from arbitrary. This is the only known choice of the four, but it guarantees that the meal will start deliciously. I know this cider doesn't need food to balance it out. The Eden Sparkling Dry can stand on its own.
I have chosen two ciders for the main event as it were. They can be taken as an either/or recommendation if you have a strong preference for sparkling or still cider. Alternatively, You can have some of both. I'm always a big fan of choose both rather than either.
Number 12 Cider House Black Currant Dry
I reviewed the Number 12 Cider House Sparkling Dry this Summer: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/06/cider-review-number-12-cider-house.html
And you can learn more about all of their ciders here: http://www.number12ciderhouse.com/
Here's the description:
Number 12 Black Currant Dry begins with aromatic notes of jam and rich black currant followed by a crisp, dry cider finish. Once considered the “forbidden fruit” due to a 100 year ban, the black currant is now experiencing a resurgence in America’s conscience. It pairs beautifully with locally grown apples by providing a tannic structure needed for depth and complexity. This is the cider that will change your perspective.Here's why I'm choosing the Black Currant Dry. There will be plenty of creaminess at my Thanksgiving table. I want at least one dry bubbly option, but one with enough flavor that the food will overpower it completely. The currants should add pleasant tannins and acid. This would also be great for folks who have the traditional turkey as a main dish, but at my house it will be pair with something vegetarian along with sides of dressing, pumpkin mac and cheese, green bean casserole, and Alex's fabulous mashed potatoes.
Also on the table...Good Life Cider's Hickok Dry Still Cider
My previous review of a Good Life Cider is of their Barrel Rye: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/12/cider-review-good-life-ciders-barrel-rye.html
Here's the Good Life Cider's page (on the Finger Lakes Cider House website) http://www.fingerlakesciderhouse.com/good-life-cider/
The official description reads simply, "Still and dry Aromas of damp earth and dark fruit. Pair this cider with the good life." The ABV of this cider comes in at 8.5%.
This is specifically to off set my other favorite Thanksgiving recipe: cranberry relish. I want a still dry cider with some rich mellowness because my cranberry relish is tart and raw. I use the food processor to blend cranberries, eating apples, oranges, and pecans and this year I will skip the maple syrup to sweeten and instead borrow just a little from my last course cider.
And with dessert...Slyboro Ice Harvest Cider
I got to visit Slyboro on the way back from our Vermont Cider Tour this summer. Previously, I reviewed the Black Currant cider: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/07/cider-review-slyboros-black-currant.html
And back in the early days of the blog, I reviewed a now sold out cider, the Old Sin: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2013/06/cider-review-slyboro-ciders-old-sin.html
Slyboro's website can be found at: http://www.slyboro.com/
To share the official description:
Fresh, artfully blended apple cider is pressed in the depths of our North Country winter and tucked outside to freeze. At the first thaw, a rich apple essence is drawn and slowly fermented till summers end. The resulting ambrosia is redolent of tropical fruits and warm baked apple with hints of spice. For dessert, as an aperitif & very special occasions. Serve slightly chilled. 11% alc/vol 11.5% residual sugar. 375mlHere's the mystery though, will dessert be traditional pumpkin pie, the glorious looking cranberry curd recipe I found online, or a birthday cake? I think this cider would accompany all three beautifully as I tend to prefer desserts that emphasize richness over sweetness. I want most of the sweetness to come from this enticing ice cider.
And if you're planning on serving or drinking cider for Thanksgiving, share your choices on Twitter with #pickcider!