With the vast array of ciders in the marketplace, there is no reason not to make your upcoming Thanksgiving Day feast a cider-centric gathering that exposes your guests to a host of cider styles. Equally true is that with so many different kinds of ciders available today, you can easily match whatever you put on your table.
Here are The Cider Journal’s tips for making Thanksgiving a cider-centric Holiday
1. Use the Appropriate and Best Glassware You Have
I can’t stress this enough. If you want to put cider in the best light, treat it like you would treat your finest wines: Use both Champagne flutes and wine glasses to showcase the ciders you are serving. Not only will this type of glassware better highlight the aromas of the fine cider you are serving, it will gussy up your Thanksgiving experience. (don’t fill the glasses to the top, either. Make sure there is room to swirl and sniff!)
2. Start Them Off With An Accessible and Distinctive Cider
Welcome your guests with something easy to drink: not too alcoholic, not too austere. A Normandy Cider from Francis is perfect for this. Norman ciders tend to be lower in alcohol (4-6%), have a little sweetness to them and sparkle beautifully. Try something from Eric Bordelet or Christian Drouin.
3. Celebrate Thanksgiving’s Origins By Putting New England Cider on the Table
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in New England and, specifically, what is now the state of Massachusetts. An array of truly great ciders are made in this region. New England was also the center of America’s cidermaking efforts. Be sure to put a New England cider or two on your Thanksgiving table. We recommend any cider from Farnum Hill (NH) or West County (MA).
4. Trash the Turkey and Procure the Pork
In our view, the best and most appropriate protein to serve with cider is Pork. Yes, Thanksgiving is all about Turkey, but let’s be honest—do you really like turkey? Wouldn’t you rather eat a savory, aromatic, gorgeous pork roast or decadent porchetta or authentic country ham? Your guests may be startled and perhaps a little disappointed at first hearing about this unorthodox choice for your Thanksgiving table but we think that once they dig into that beautiful pairing of pork and cider you will convert them forever.
5. More Styles Equals More Cider Experience
Be sure to give your guests a variety of cider styles to choose from. Put something sour and funky on the table from Asturia, Spain. Beer lovers will appreciate a hopped cider in all its floral glory. Try a barrel aged cider with their intense, rich flavors. The point is to give your guests and their palates a variety of ciders to explore.
6. Finish Sweet
If you want to leave your guests with a warm happy feeling about cider, finish up with an Ice Cider. These intense and delicious sweet concoctions are remarkable renditions of the apple. They can be served with any number of desserts or on their own as a decadent descent in to the core of the apple’s character. Anything from Vermont’s Eden Ice Cider will do the trick