LATEST PAPER
60° Good Afternoon
60° Good Afternoon
Eat and Drink

New York ciders: Blackduck, Awestruck and other local cideries to try

The crunching leaves, the chilly wind, it can only mean one thing: Rosé season is over and cider season has arrived.

While this year's expanded Cider Week NYC is focusing on reminding people that cider is a year-round drink, there's something especially nice about enjoying it during the season when New Yorkers flock to pick-your-own orchards to take apples home fresh from the farm.

And many of the New York apples that don't wind up plucked by orchard-goers are used in locally made hard ciders. The vast majority of the more than 20 ciders available at Monday night's Cider Revival, hosted at the Bowery Hotel as part of Cider Week, were made in the state.

If you're looking for a new way to enjoy cider, consider pairing it with cheese as you would wine. These ciders -- many of which are dry and much less sweet than the uninitiated might assume -- were served alongside fondue and other snacks from Murray's Cheese Bar Monday night, and they stood up to the savoriness.

Here are eight ciders made in the state -- and even in the city -- worth seeking out this season.

Descendant Cider Company's Pom Pomme

Descendant Cider runs its operation right here in
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Descendant Cider runs its operation right here in New York City, churning out small batches in Queens. Their Pom Pomme is a sparkling dry concoction that blends apples, pomegranate and hibiscus flowers. "It's pretty tart. It has a little bit of residual sweetness, but mostly it's dry," co-founder Jahil Maplestone said. (Descendant Cider, Queens, N.Y., descendantcider.com)

Blackduck Cidery's Hamilton's Revenge

Aaron Burr, beware.
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Aaron Burr, beware. "It's 17% Riesling, 83% cider and 100% spite," cider maker John Reynolds said. "This is the purest form of an emotion that one can bottle and taste." Blackduck Cidery is way up in the Finger Lakes, but you can find their ciders locally. (Blackduck Cidery, Ovid, N.Y., blackduckcidery.com)

Big Apple Hard Cider's Brooklyn Brew

Enjoy Big Apple's Brooklyn Brew on its own
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Enjoy Big Apple's Brooklyn Brew on its own or in a cocktail -- at the Cider Revival, it was paired with Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey as a cocktail called the Big Apple Bourbon. The cider is produced in the Hudson Valley and casked in Long Island, and it's perfected at a test kitchen right in Manhattan. (Big Apple Hard Cider, bigapplehardcider.com)

Pennings Farm Cidery's Honey Hopped Cider

Pennings Farm Cidery would make for a scenic
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Pennings Farm Cidery would make for a scenic fall day trip -- just about 50 miles from midtown, and home to its delicious Honey Hopped Cider. It's made with Braeburn, Red Delicious, Ida Red, Crispin, Fuji and Empire apples, with hops added in the fermentation process and sweetened with honey from the farm's own beekeepers. (Pennings Farm Cidery, Warwick, N.Y., penningscidery.com)

Brooklyn Cider House's Kinda Dry Hard Cider

Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

"Ugly apples taste better" is the motto at Brooklyn Cider House, where cider is made with apples from an orchard in New Paltz. Brooklyn Cider House also has plans to open a production facility and tasting room in Brooklyn. The company has a cider for every palate: Kinda Dry, Bone Dry, Half Sour, and the most unusual, Still Bone Dry - which has no carbonation and no sugar. (Brooklyn Cider House, New Paltz, brooklynciderhouse.com)

Awestruck's Lavender Hops Cider

Apples, hops and lavender combined into a bittersweet,
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Apples, hops and lavender combined into a bittersweet, herbaceous cider: What could go wrong? (Awestruck Ciders, Sidney, N.Y., awestruckciders.com)

Leonard Oakes Estate Winery's SteamPunk Cider

SteamPunk Cider uses both bittersweet apples and dessert
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

SteamPunk Cider uses both bittersweet apples and dessert apples, Fuji and Braeburn, for a balanced flavor. "It kind of gives it the apple character, more floral, more apple-like on the front palate with the sweetness, and then finishes with the tannins from the bittersweet or bitter-sharp varieties," said cider maker Jonathan Oakes. (SteamPunk Cider from Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, Medina, N.Y., oakeswinery.com)

Hardscrabble Cider's Dry Cider

Hardscrabble Cider is just 45 minutes outside the
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Hardscrabble Cider is just 45 minutes outside the city, making it another great day trip contender. Its dry variety pairs nicely with fish. (Hardscrabble Cider, North Salem, N.Y., hardscrabbleciderny.com)

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Eat and Drink photos & videos