[photos by Andrea Hubbell, Sarah Cramer Shields, and Megan Headley, Words by Megan Headley]
Have we mentioned how much we love cider lately? It was a fixture on our summer picnic blankets, a component in our September Flavor of the Month, a recent feature that proved to be a most delicious day, and is now a favorite fall dinner date–as complex as wine, as refreshing as beer.
The beverage that was chugged by colonists and then vanished after Prohibition is experiencing a nationwide revival (cider sales increased more than 50% in the past year). Our state’s own cider maker count has grown from one to eight in six years.
Diane Flynt, the first in Virginia to market her Foggy Ridge Cider in 2006, has led the organization of Virginia’s first Cider Week, which kicks off today at 4:30pm at Feast! where a $15 progressive tasting will showcase cider’s versatility with a full range of our local foods. Now every year, the week before Thanksgiving will be be designated Virginia Cider Week–an apt celebration given our state’s $33 million dollar apple industry and cider’s all-local focus.
Visit www.ciderweekva.com for a complete listing of events, tastings, and dinners held in DC, Charlottesville, Richmond, and beyond, and plan your week out right. We’re bound to run into you.
Monday night marked our head start when we visited seven restaurants around town who are offering creative cider cocktails for the duration of Cider Week. Each was as different as it was delightful, so try a new one every night this week and vote on your favorite at http://www.facebook.com/VirginiaCiderWeek. An apple cocktail a day…well, you know the rest.
1. Beer Run’s “Eve’s Black Heart”
Albemarle Ciderworks Royal Pippin, Victory Donnybrook Dry Irish Stout, Laird’s Applejack Brandy
2. C&O Restaurant’s “Mary Pippins”
Foggy Ridge Handmade Cider, Sazerac Rye, rosemary simple syrup, sprig of rosemary
3. Commonwealth Restaurant and Skybar’s “Apples to Apples”
Laird’s Applejack Brandy, Bold Rock Virginia Apple Cider, Fee Brothers Bitters, brandied cherries
4. Glass Haus Kitchen’s “Autumn Thyme”
Foggy Ridge Serious Cider, Copper Fox Rye Whiskey, Laird’s Applejack Brandy, thyme simple syrup, sprig of thyme
5. Horse & Hound’s “The Hound”
Bold Rock Virginia Draft Hard Cider, Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew non-alcoholic ginger beer, Maker’s Mark, lime
6. Mas Tapas’ “ChichicapaBangBang”
Single Village Mezcal, Potter’s Craft Farmhouse Dry Cider, salted apple, prickly pear purée
7. Whiskey Jar’s “Cider Press”
Foggy Ridge Handmade Cider, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, St-Germain, brown sugar simple syrup, fresh apple
8. Zinc’s “The Sandy Potter”
Potter’s Craft Farmhouse Dry Cider, Jack Daniels, Cointreau, Fee Brothers Bitters, lime, orange, housemade non-fermented apple cider, orange twist