For those looking for variety during the holiday season, cider is a unique and amazing choice. While almost all ciders have some slight carbonation, a few cider makers are producing ciders using the charmat or méthode champenoise processes used for wine. For 2017 we rounded up some interesting sparkling ciders from around the country, so hopefully, you can find a bottle (or two) to bring to your NYE party.
Eden has several sparkling ciders in the portfolio including a dry and semi-dry. We had the opportunity to try the dry sparkling, which has a deep golden color with a light effervescence, during CiderCon earlier this year. The sparkling cider is made of 50% Kingston Black, 30% heirloom and 20% dessert fruit (Eden’s popular ice cider consists of dessert apples giving it an ice wine quality). The sparkling ciders are fermented with champagne yeast in French oak barrels for a year, bottled, and the secondary fermentation process lasts for 6 month – after which the yeast is hand-disgorged. The ciders have complex tannins are a result of the use of the Kingston Black apples and the dry sparkling finishes with a slightly fermented taste.
Prima Cider is a small cidery in the suburbs of Chicago. Their Prima Brut, a Method Champenoise cider, is produced using 20 different varieties of heirloom apples sourced from throughout the Midwest. The cider, which we sampled during Cider Summit, is bottle fermented and cold cellar-aged for 18 months which results in a crisp and slightly citrusy flavor with a bit of tannin and complexity from the yeast.
We first were introduced to Mission Trail this past February at Cider Summit when we had the opportunity to sample their Jerkum, a fermented beverage that consists of stone fruit. The Champagne Style Cider is produced from 29 apple varietals and fermented twice before undergoing a charmat carbonation process. While we haven’t had a chance to try the cider, Misson Trail describes it as “dry, light, refreshing, great apple taste, powerful nose, and bubbly!”