The Cider Crate

Month: May 2021

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Our Top 5 Strawberry-Forward Ciders for Spring 2021

Strawberry season is a mood of its own, but always too short of a season overall. With June promising juicy berries, we thought to shine some light on our favourite strawberry-forward ciders!

Heritage Estate – Eden’s Apple Strawberry

We aren’t sure how Heritage Estate got a strawberry shortcake in a can, but this cider is a creamy and dreamy treat! With sweet strawberries and delightful creamy vanilla notes, its incredibly smooth and goes down a bit too quick. The apple notes are slightly crisp, but the strawberry is the true star here.

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/heritage-estate-edens-apple-strawberry/

Buy it: LCBO & Heritage Estates Retail

Heeman’s – Berry Blush Cider

One sip of this and it will transport you to spring, no matter the season you are in! With a hint of tart raspberry, the Berry Blush is mostly a strawberry focused experience to us, with the fruit being very balanced and prominent throughout the flavour journey.

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/heeman-berryblush/

Buy it: Heeman’s Retail Store

Kings Mill – Strawberry Rhubarb

Kings Mill loves to use ingredients grown in their garden so the produce is always fresh and responsibly grown. This is again true with their Strawberry Rhubarb cider that is labeled as a ‘live’ cider so keep it cold to maintain it at its best before consuming. A very fun cider, its balanced, light and with creamy strawberries and a hint of tartness from the rhubarb. Summer in a glass? Yes, please!

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/kings-mill-strawberry-rhubarb/

Buy it: Kings Mill Retail Store

Reinhart’s – Strawberry Hibiscus

A ingredient that screams spring to us is hibiscus. The hibiscus is nicely paired with the strawberry here, with the sweet and the tangy elements being rather complimentary to one another. As well, the strawberries taste a bit muddled and thick, making this stand out from other offerings. Overall, Reinhart’s made a very approachable cider perfect for carefree sunny sipping.

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/reinharts-strawberry-hibiscus/

Buy it: LCBO

Archibalds – Strawberry Lime

Archibald’s is bringing the strawberry juiciness with this dessert-focused cider! Great on its own or after a meal as a sweet treat, it delivers on the promised strawberry and lime titular flavours. The strawberries taste incredibly fresh like they were just picked and pressed today! The lime adds a nice tang at the finish to help define and add layers to the cider. A true treat for those with sweet teeth!

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/archibalds-strawberry-lime/

Buy it: Archibald’s Retail Store 

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Our Top 5 Floral Infused Ciders for Spring 2021

Ah Spring… warming weather, cute animals and of course, the flowers are blooming all around! One of the more unique type of ingredients we’ve seen being added to ciders – especially lately – are flowers! We picked our top 5 floral infused ciders to celebrate the rebirth that Spring can bring.

Duntoon Cyder House – Sumac

Sumac is a very common flavouring ingredient in Middle Eastern food but it hasn’t really made it much to North America in food or cider yet. With Duntroon’s Sumac, you are introduced to this flavour and flowering plant in a thoughtful and brilliant manner. Very dry, it has a unique lemony forwardness to it, with touches of tannins and floral notes that intrigue and satisfy. Bonus points for the sumac originating on the Duntroon Estate as well.

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/duntroon-sumac/

Buy it: https://my-site-102138-100343.square.site/product/sumac/207?cp=true&sa=true&sbp=false&q=false

Grey & Gold – Wildflower

Made with organic chamomile, wild chamomile and other wildflowers foraged at the Grey & Gold estate, this is a very mellow and chilled cider – maybe one to drink right before bed to get the calming effects of chamomile! It’s a very smooth cider overall and the softest cider we’ve had from Grey & Gold so far. A great and unique offering!

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/grey-gold-wildflower/

Buy it: https://greyandgoldcider.com/products/

Clafeld – Rose Hip

One of the more original floral offerings here in Ontario, Clafeld’s Rose Hip has been a staple offering of theirs for a few years now. With a bouquet of rose and rose hips flavours, its a rather dry offering, as it is also has some wine infused into it as well. Its a sort of romantic cider if you ask us!

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/clafeld-rose-hip/

Buy it: https://www.waupooswinery.com/product/rose-hip/

Crimson – Lavender Buds

There is just something about lavender that can put you in a good mood. This is exactly what its like to drink the Lavender Buds by Crimson Cider. Made with locally sourced lavender, the Crimson team did not skimp out on this ingredient when they made this cider. Bold and unapologetic, you definitely have to be a lavender fan to enjoy this, but if you are, its going to become a mild obsession.

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/crimson-cider-lavender-buds/

Buy it: https://www.crimsoncidercompany.com/shop-1

Thornbury – Blueberry Elderflower

This one has developed a bit of a cult following and we see why! A creamy blend of blueberries with a soft but natural elderflower taste make for easy springtime consumption. It recently made its return back to the LCBO after a bit of a hiatus so grab it quick if you see it!

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/thornbury-blueberry-elderflower-apple-cider/

Buy it: https://thornburycraft.com/shop-cider/

 

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Our Top 5 Ciders for a Festive Cinco de Mayo 2021

Mexico is a wondrous country of great beauty and great people who are kind, friendly and with a good sense of humour. Cinco de Mayo is only one of their colourful celebrations every year and any observance of it must be respectful to the culture and country.

We rounded up our top 5 ciders we feel embrace commonly used Mexican ingredients well so you can enjoy a festive – and respectful – day.

Kings Mill – Jalapeño

Jalapeño peppers are commonly used in Mexican cooking and while they do add some spice to dishes, they are still more on the tame side. Kings Mill made a cider with jalapeño’s grown in their own garden, and the cider does not skimp on natural pepper flavour. With some spice, it still isn’t too overpowering so we feel most people could tolerate this cider.

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/kings-mill-jalapeno/

Buy it: https://kingsmillcider.company.site/JALAPE%C3%91O-Carbonated-355mL-Six-Pack-p300752425

Hard Way – Loco Blanco

Naturally a list about Mexico wouldn’t be complete with mention of tequila! Hard Way Cider Co has a strong focus on barrel-aged ciders and many include aging in spirit barrels. Their tequila aged offering, Loco Blanco, is bone dry and has a considerable amount of pure tequila flavour to it. Its a strong one with a bunch of astringency from the tequila but its a very strong representation of the spirit itself.

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/hardway-loco-blanco-dos/

Buy it: https://www.hardwaycider.com/collections/cider-1/products/cider-loco-blanco

Steel Town – Vay Kay

Steel Town also has a tequila barrel-aged offering called Vay Kay and its a tropical Caribbean escape in a can! With a strong tequila flavour and astringency that comes through in the aftertaste, you are pleasantly greeted with forceful pineapple, mango and coconut flavours to start. These fruit notes are very juicy and reminiscent of the agua fresca drinks beloved by Mexicans. There is also some lime and sea salt in this to give it a margarita flair.

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/steel-town-vay-kay/

Buy it:  https://www.steeltowncider.com/

Slabtown – Honey Habanero

Another pepper commonly used in Mexican cuisine is the habanero, and it sure does deliver a lot more punch and spice than a jalapeño! Slabtown used this pepper in their cider and added some soothing honey to balance the elements out. Its a bit spicy but its more about the pepper flavour here. A fun treat that is very smooth and refreshing overall!

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/slabtown-honey-habanero/

Buy it: https://www.slabtowncider.com/store

Brickworks – Lime Margarita

Of course, many associate Cinco de Mayo and Mexico with the classic margarita and Brickworks has attempted to recreate the experience here with their Lime Margarita cider that can be found within their 2021 Summer Mixpack at the LCBO. This is a very crisp cider with a decent amount of tartness from the limes coming through. You also get a bit of cooling mint and of course the anticipated salt comes through in the finish and lingers a bit. It’s a light interpretation of the cocktail but overall very refreshing for a sunny day.

Our review: https://staging2.thecidercrate.com/cider-type/brickworks-lime-margarita/

Buy it: https://www.lcbo.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lcbo/brickworks-ciderhouse-mix-pack%09-19980#.YI23DGZKjAM