Happily so, summer’s “must drink” list just got longer. Craft cideries are producing unique ciders by experimenting with fruits, vegetables, and herbs, creating hybrid blends and new flavor profiles.
Hardscrabble Cider at Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard in North Salem will introduce beet, ginger-lemon, and jalapeño-cucumber ciders in bottles and on tap in its tasting room this summer, along with a rotating experimental cider. “We’re trying to create new varieties to bring in beer drinkers and people who want something different,” says tasting room manager Anthony Sepe, who consults with Harvest Moon’s owner and farmers on which flavors pair well.
The new flavors were experimental last year, and the success of the beet cider led to the development of other flavors, often using the farm’s produce. Last year’s experimental batches of black-currant-basil and tart-cherry-rosemary were also hits. For Cinco De Mayo, a new cider incorporated Scotch bonnet peppers, lime, and cilantro. The apple flavor in Hardscrabble’s cider base, blended from 10 varieties grown on the farm, is “not overly strong,” Sepe explains, which helps in the blending. Perfect for accompanying grilled dishes, the beet cider pairs well with red meat and the lemon-ginger with fish.
Hardscrabble Cider at Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard