Heirloom Ice CiderMADE BY EDEN ICE CIDER IN NEWPORT, VERMONT
During a trip to Montreal, Eleanor (a Vermonter) and Albert (a French Canadian) sipped on a cool Canadian apple liqueur known as ice cider and thought, “Why don’t we make this on our side of the border?”
What is ice cider? It’s not quite the same as ice wine, as few apples naturally stay on trees until frozen. (ice wine is made from frozen grapes.) Apples are picked at peak ripeness and kept in cold storage until the weather remains at consistent winter temperatures. They’re then pressed and the juice set outdoors to freeze up to eight weeks. The process results in a residual concentrate that’s naturally high in sugar and flavor. Finally, the super sweet apple juice is fermented over several weeks or months.
The couple came back bought an abandoned dairy farm in West Charleston, Vermont, and have since planted more than 1,000 apple trees. Their apple-tastic Heirloom Ice Cider is made with a bushel of our favorites: MacIntosh, Empire and Russets for sweetness; Calville Blanc and Esopus Spitzenburg (gesundheit!) for bright acidity; and Ashmead's Kernel for natural tannins and structure.
Fun fact: The final amount of Ice Cider produced is usually less than a quarter of the original amount of juice pressed – it takes more than eight pounds of apples to make one 375 ml bottle of Ice Cider!
Translation: This is special stuff.