Sunday, July 22, 2007

All Hail Essence From Eve's Cidery

In Canada there is a new type of cider they've been drinking for some time - iced cider. It is an ice wine made from apples and it is stupendous. I have reviewed one of them before.

But now, for the first time, an American winery is now making ice cider - Eve's Cidery, in Ithaca, New York. An it is an excellent iced cider.

Eve's Cidery is a small orchard and cidery nestled in the hills of the Finger Lakes region of New York State. They produe excellent ciders made with traditional cider apple varieties of English, French, and American origin.

According to Eve's, "At Eve’s Cidery we strive to be part of the small but growing bunch of artisan cider makers who are reviving this essential orchardists craft by producing beverages from distinct varieties and allowing for expression of vintage and terrior....Essence is an ice cider or intensified cider. We make it by allowing late harvest juice to freeze partially. As the juice freezes the water is separated out and the remaining juice is concentrated with high brix and intense flavors. Although ice ciders are wildly popular in Quebec and other parts of Canada, the Bureau of Alcohol in this country doesn’t have an ice cider category, yet."

Kathie Williams wrote in the Ithaca Journal, "Owner and operator of Eve's Cidery, the area's newest winery, Autumn Stoscheck, also an employee of Littletree Orchards and former agricultural student at Cornell University, said that while the business is not part of the orchards, she has had the idea of a cidery for several years."

"Every orchardist tends to have a barrel of hard cider in the back," Stoscheck said.

"She traveled to England where cider is a beverage category. While there, Stoscheck visited several cideries, took a class in processing cider and got so inspired that she cane back and decided she wanted to open her own cidery. Since the various ciders include alcohol, she also had to apply for a state liquor license, a process which took a year," wrote Williams.

As promised Essence delivers honey, caramel, apricot jam and juicy apples. And it is wonderfully tart. This ice cider is impressive as dessert itself. It also goes great with numerous things, like Stilton cheese and some apples, a creme brulee, biscotti or homemade cinnamon doughnuts.

Dominique and I were entertaining some guests in up state New York. The sun was out and the weather was beautiful. We made kabobs with organic beef bred and grown around the corner from our farm, skewered with onion, pepper, and organic mushrooms. We also had fresh Jersey (the tomatoes not yet being ready).

Afterwards, Dom served a raspberry-blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. The dessert was superb, as the warm sn shone down upon us. And the wine went wonderfully.

I bought my bottle from a young woman at the Union Square Farmer's Market. You can buy one at he following places.

Sparrow's Fine Wines

Ithaca Farmers Market

Savoy Restaurant

Just a Taste Wine & Tapas Bar

The ABC Cafe

Applewood Restaurant

Gramercy Tavern