Cider was America’s first beverage of choice. It was considered a safe alternative to water, which could contain parasites and disease. In addition, cider was easy to produce in comparison to distilled spirits and wine. Cider remained popular until prohibition, when even the production of non-alcoholic cider was restricted and many cider apple orchards were destroyed.
These days, in the midst of a cider revival, we are falling for a more European-style cider that is akin to champagne and moscato. These drinks are effervescent, light and pair well with food. In Virginia, husband and wife team Chuck and Diane Flynt at Foggy Ridge Cider craft three distincts ciders and one cider/ apple brandy blend. This blend, Pippin Gold, is labeled a dessert cider. and can be chilled and sipped all by itself. It’s often used in dessert making and can be added to cocktails for a touch of sweetness.
Lucky Restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia has won multiple awards for their artisanal cocktails thanks to the talents of co-owner Hunter S. Johnson. “One night I was drinking Del Maguey Vida Mezcal neat while eating a Gala Apple and some figs. I thought the mezcal and the apple flavors were really delicious together. The name was definitely inspired by the Eagles Song, Desperado due to the fact that Foggy Ridge is located in Dugspur, VA. Its also really fun to sing “Dugspurado” while making the drink.” The Dugspurado is a mainstay on Lucky’s cocktail menu – with good reason. The smokiness of the mezcal is a tasty juxtaposition to the fruitiness of the cider. Add ginger syrup and the combination is sublime.
from Hunter S. Johnson of Lucky Restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia