|Orleans Cider taken at Stowe Taste of Vermont Fair|
You may have seen my video of visiting Hill Farmstead in Vermont for great beer, but I also made a discovery at a small food fair near Stowe Vermont, trying a little product I had never heard of from a craft producer. That product was ice cider made by Eden Ice Cider in West Charleston Vermont.
You heard that right ice cider. It was here I discovered a product known as Orleans. Orleans unlike most ciders is actually a cider hybrid wine. They took their fresh pressed cider from Vermont apples, then fermented the concentrate to make a dry wine that was then infused with a mixture of herbs. The result is something truly spectacular.
At first sip Orleans is like cider, but then it tastes more like an ice wine when nicely chilled. The nose is all apple aroma but filled with huge notes of basil and other aromatic herbs. It finishes clean, with a palate rich in flavors of apples, honey, anise, slight pepper, and LOTS of basil.
Speaking with the booth attendant, she remarked the product was extremely popular with bartenders in New York City who were making lots of cocktails with it. This was no surprise to me whatsoever, the applications you could do with this beverage made my headspin. Cider and fruit check, incredible herbs, check, controlled sweetness, check. It was practically a well crafted cocktail in a bottle by itself.
All I can say is that if you ever see this product where you live, you need to try it, it is really something special worth seeking out.