Cheers - November 2015

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 32 of 51 33 November/December 2015 • brewed with blackcurrant or cultivated like ice wine. American producers have started copying cider styles from Europe, where the beverage has traditionally been popular. Cidermakers can borrow styles from both wine and craft beer. This also allows the beverage to pair well with a wide spectrum of dishes. "There are not a lot of rules in making cider," says Dan Pucci, cider director at Wassail, New York's fi rst fully dedicated cider pub. "And we're still really in the infancy of it." THE BIG APPLE Wassail was born of this new interest in cider, and features an eclectic menu of modern ciders. These include French-style cider from Salem, OR-based E.Z. Orchards, which Wassail sells for $13 per 8-oz. pour. "It's super textured and savory," Pucci says. With this cider, Pucci recommends Wassail's Chicken of the Woods mushroom dish, with bok choy, bulgur, and cured duck egg ($17). The dry, tannic qualities of the French cider match the lighter fl avors of the mushroom, he says. Another dish that plates well beside a glass of cider, Pucci says, is the caulifl ower with black garlic and cashew ($18). He recommends diners try it alongside a 5-oz. pour of the Trabanco, from Sidra Natural of Spain ($5). The high acids help cut through the black garlic dish. Wassail also contracts a house cider from Eve's Cidery in New York. "It's made in a still in the Champagne method, so it has a lot of character," Pucci explains. The Eve's Wassail Blend is available for $10 per pour, or $37 for a full bottle. CAPITAL CIDER PAIRINGS For curious drinkers wanting to sample around the category, Capitol Cider in Seattle offers a cider fl ight of three 3-oz. pours for $14, says Sara Harvey, chef de cuisine. The 160-seat tavern currently offers four cider fl ights: a Spanish-style fl ight, a single varietal-style fl ight, a showcase of E.Z. Orchard ciders and a continental fl ight with American Capitol Cider, a 160-seat tavern in Seattle, incorporates recommended food/cider pairings into the menu. Wassail in New York offers an eclectic menu of modern ciders, including a French-style cider from E.Z. Orchards of Oregon and a house cider from the local Eve's Cidery. Wassail's caulifl ower with black garlic and cashew dish is a good match with high-acid cider from Spain.

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