Now that Christmas and the holidays are over, the allure of winter can dwindle. It becomes less of the magical winter wonderland with lights and powdery snow it was in November and December, and more of a grey, slush-fest of snow squalls and un-sholved sidewalks until hopefully only March (sometimes April though!).
We at The Cider Crate want to help keep you warm and cozy. Here are our recommendations for the best ciders you can get to drink for those frosty months you may not want to leave the house at all.
1) Heartwood Wassail [Erin, Ontario]
This is a beauty of a mulled cider that features a wide-selection of warming spices and even a bit of pepper. You can buy it at their woodsy retail store or at the Guelph Farmers Market. It is recommended you try it heated, cooked with a cinnamon stick and maple syrup (two things they even sell with the cider sometimes).
2) 401 Cider Co – Apple Pie Cider [Colbourne, Ontario)
Want dessert in a glass? This cider does not disappoint with creamy dessert apples, a delicate vanilla and just enough cinnamon to remind you of the pie your grandma always makes.
3) Thornbury Spiced Cider [Thornbury, Ontario]
Enjoyable both cold and warm, this cider is well-balanced with cinnamon, cloves and more – amongst a medley of apple flavours. A very approachable cider for most cider fans.
4) Ernest Winter’s Blush Cider [Newmarket, Ontario]
Looking for an offering that is spiced but also has some warming fruits? Winter’s Blush is calling your name with a nice combination of cranberry and orange – with a perfect mix of mulled spiced mixed in there too. You may get flashbacks to that Holiday Party punch you may have had too many cups of though.
5) Bootleg Whisky Barrel Aged Cider [Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario]
If sweet treats warm you up, then look for this sweeter offering that features vanilla, light spices and a smooth whisky and apple base. If you like the taste of whiskies and smooth bourbons but don’t like the astringency of the straight spirits, this could tickle your fancy.
6) Kings Mill – Ice Cider
You can’t discuss winter drinking without some of the finest creations made during these cold months – Ice Ciders. Made similarly to ice wine, where the apples are picked after it is below zero, these tend to be slow sippers – with Kings Mill’s offering being no different. This version may be less thick and less astringent than other versions on the market, but is still has the depth of others; while also in our opinion, being more apple-forward in taste than most. Enjoy before or after a meal, or on its own. Great both on and off ice.