Seasonal Sips: Falling for Hard Cider

A sampling of domestic and imported bottles for the holidays
By Bill Lindsey
Bill Lindsey
Bill Lindsey
Bill Lindsey is an award-winning writer based in South Florida. He covers real estate, automobiles, timepieces, boats, and travel topics.
November 19, 2021 Updated: November 19, 2021

Cider has a storied past and a delicious present. The Romans discovered it when they invaded the British Isles, and it was the drink of choice of early Americans when they had no grains or barley to brew beer—but plenty of apples.

2 Towns Cider BrightCider, Oregon and Washington State, $5.39

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of 2 Towns Ciderhouse)

Newtown Pippin apples, one of the country’s oldest varieties, provide a unique flavor found only in American ciders, making them an ideal choice for this Oregon-based producer. With a dry, not overly sweet flavor and light coloring, BrightCider pairs well with fish, pork, and salads.

J.K.’s Scrumpy Hard Cider, Michigan, $8.99

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of J.K.’s Farmhouse Ciders)

Made from apples grown in a Michigan orchard owned by the same family for over 150 years, J.K.’s ciders are USDA Organic and gluten-, sulphate-, and sorbate-free. No two batches of this estate-bottled cider will be exactly the same.

Urban Tree Vintage Gala, Georgia, $17

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Urban Tree Cidery)

Like many of their offerings, Atlanta-based Urban Tree’s Vintage Gala is a prizewinner in international wine and cider competitions. This bottle isn’t always available, but is well worth the wait for its delicate hint of toasted vanilla flavor.

Samuel Smith Organic Cider, UK, $10.95

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Samuel Smith)

The British Isles are often credited for creating cider, and this offering from Samuel Smith proves it was a great idea. This medium-dry, light-bodied cider from the oldest brewery in Yorkshire is quite literally history in a bottle.

Bordatto Etxaldea Basa Jaun 2015, Basque Country, $20

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Domaine Bordatto)

A blend of 19 organic heirloom apple varieties found near the Pyrenees Mountains, this is a naturally sparkling, slightly acidic, hearty cider. Named for a legendary Basque wild man, it completes fermentation in the bottle. Best when aged several years.

Bill Lindsey
Bill Lindsey is an award-winning writer based in South Florida. He covers real estate, automobiles, timepieces, boats, and travel topics.