New York Cider Week: time to drink your adult apple juice.
Artisanal hard cider has been on the rise for several years, and for this 6th installment of NY Cider Week, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to celebrate and taste this New York agricultural tradition.
Cider was a ubiquitous beverage in the United States up until Prohibition, with many a farmer and family drinking their own heirloom variety. Unlike beer, cider is not boiled as a part of the brewing process, and consequently often has a much longer fermentation and maturation period (think season to season) as opposed to beer, which you can brew and drink in less than 2 months, depending on style. It’s really the freshly-pressed juice that does the job, pouring flavors that range from musty and sweet, to tangy and fresh, to downright juicy.
Cider Week NYC’s website has a comprehensive list of tastings, lectures, classes, cheese pairings, pig roasts, prefixe dinners, all categorized by borough and participating restaurant. Don’t see your favorite craft beer bar on the list? Drop by anyway in the name of hard cider, as they’re sure to be lauding the apple just as loudly.
Wassail and Queen’s Kickshaw
The word “Wassail” derives from Old Norse England, and is a word that is simultaneously a greeting, a blessing for apple trees, and a spiced apple & brown liquor spiked holiday punch. The brains behind Queen’s Kickshaw, Jennifer Lim and Ben Sandler, teamed up with some of the finest and most conscientious cider lovers, to give Manhattan a taste of what’s been going on in Queens. There is a bevy of events all week on Orchard Street, almost staggering in their awesomeness, including a Pop-Up Bottle Shop, Cider Chats: a series of conversations with cidermakers, and prefixe Cider Dinners on the 11th and 12th, where you can choose two cider pairing options: New York State or European.
Queen’s Kickshaw will be continuing their Cider Tap Takeover, as well as Cider Dinners on the 9th and 10th, highlighting the food-friendly qualities of cider. Buy your tickets ASAP, and enjoy a 5-course meal with some of the people responsible for craft cider’s resurgence in NYC.
Jimmy’s No. 43
Since the first year of Cider Week, Jimmy’s has become an unofficial clubhouse of the festival, where industry folk rub elbows in their down time. Come for Cider Cask night and meet Eleanor from Eden’s Ciders, see how the Brits do it at English Cider night with Sam Smith. or perhaps you are game for the Lechon Pig Cider Brunch on Sunday? Enjoy specially-paired ciders with the Filipino-style whole roast hog, available a la carte. Pork and apples, what’s not to love?
Sunday 11/15 3-6PM
If you are far away from the hubbub of Manhattan, head to the Windsor Terrace neighborhood staple for a Cider Aperitivo and Happy Hour. Enjoy your pre-dinner cider specials & complimentary nibbles, complete with special bottle pours from cider expert/nice guy Jeff Russell. Finish the weekend right and stick around for dinner–try the Delicata Squash Fries, and wash it down with some Downeast Unoriginal Cider.
Hops & Hocks
If you’re lurking and living in Bushwick or nearby Bed-Stuy, and haven’t crossed paths with the beacon that is Hops & Hocks, now is a great time. Just off the Morgan L stop, Hops & Hocks will be having cider tastings from Nine Pin (Saturday 3-6), Harvest Moon (Tuesday 7-9), Descendant (Wednesday 6-8), and Naked Flock (next Friday 6-8). Chat with the knowledgeable chaps, take home a growler or two, and be sure to sample from the “Hocks” half of the formula, yummy charcuterie from the Ham Bar.
And for you cheese lovers, don’t miss the many cheese and cider pairings throughout the week at Murray’s Cheese Shop (Lunch Prefixe, $35) and Bedford Cheese Shop, whose feature cheese will be Meadow Creek Dairy Grayson, a custom-made Raw Cow’s milk cheese made, washed in Bad Seed Dry Cider. Let’s bust out the crackers.
For more info, go to CiderWeekNYC, or use the hashtag #ciderweeknyc to get in on the conversation.