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9 Best Hard Ciders To Drink This Fall

As the leaves turn and the temperatures drop, you start gravitating toward different drinks—things like chai lattes, pumpkin nog, and hot apple cider. But when you're looking for an adult beverage to let loose after a long day of work, or to sip on at a fall fête, a hard cider presents the perfect solution: it's festive, easy to drink, and with an ABV typically hovering around 4-6%, it's low enough in alcohol that you can crush a couple at a time. As an added bonus, it's almost always naturally gluten-free. But with so many brands and flavors to choose from, how are you supposed to choose the best hard ciders to drink?

Some hard ciders stand out because they're made with all local or organic apples, specific varieties of apples, or incorporate other fruits and spices. And while nutrition may not be the first thing on your mind when making your selection, it's another factor worth considering. One of the reasons why hard cider is so darn delicious is that it's made from fermented fruit, which is naturally high in sugar. But if you know what to look for, you can find one with a reasonable sugar content.

With all that in mind, here are nine hard ciders you'll want to savor all season long—and beyond. And for more helpful grocery tips, check out 8 Light Beers That Use the Highest Quality Ingredients.

1

Bold Rock Hard Cider, Honeycrisp

Bold Rock Hard Cider, Honeycrisp

per 12-oz bottle: 130 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 0 g protein

Ken Meehan, Assistant Director of Food and Beverage at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races calls Bold Rock's artisan cider his all-time favorite for three reasons: it's an independently owned craft cidery, the apples are locally sourced from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it's completely free of additives.

This particular hard cider highlights the Honeycrisp—a variety known for being crisp, juicy, and ideal for baking into pies. Refreshing and vibrant, it's just sweet enough without being cloying.

Buy now at Total Wine.

2

Blake's Caramel Apple Imperial Cider

Blake's Caramel Apple Imperial Cider

per 12-oz bottle: 190 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (0 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 0 g protein

Amber Tuttle, Beer Director at PUB 365, calls this her favorite hard cider to sip on a chilly fall day.

"The first sip takes me back to fond memories of my favorite sweet treat while apple picking at Gilcrest Orchard," she says.

Dripping with smooth caramel notes to compliment the tartness of the granny smith apples, it's basically dessert in a bottle.

Buy now at Total Wine.

3

Austin Eastciders Brut Super Dry Cider

Austin Eastciders Brut Super Dry Cider

per 12-oz bottle: 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 0 g protein

Are most hard ciders just too sweet for your taste? Think of this elegant, bone-dry offering as the champagne of ciders—with only 3 grams of sugar and 100 calories per can, it's also one you can feel good about drinking. Thanks to the dry flavor profile and unexpected citrus notes, this cider can also make a fun base for fall mimosas.

Also, since it's super dry, this one is a food-friendly cider that can complement just about any dish. Try drinking it alongside a charcuterie board, creamy pasta or veggie risotto, or roasted chicken. Basically, if it works well with dry white wine, it'll pair nicely with this cider.

Buy now at Total Wine.

4

Downeast Original Blend Unfiltered Cider

Downeast Original Blend Unfiltered Cider

per 12-oz can: 182 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (0 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 0 g protein

This is just about as close as you're going to get to the apple cider you had from a roadside farm stand when you were a kid—but with a boozy twist. Just don't be scared away by its cloudy appearance—this cider is unfiltered, which actually gives it a heavier body and more complex flavor.

"The Downeast Original Blend Unfiltered Cider strikes the perfect balance between sweet and dry," says Mark Miller, owner of The Porch.

While this cider is a bit higher in sugar than the others on this list, it's perfect for the occasional treat. Not a huge fan of carbonation? Luckily, Downeast's original blend is a little less bubbly—which can make it dangerously easy to drink.

Buy now at Target.

RELATED: The Best Beer in Every State

5

Capitol Rosé Cider

Capitol Rosé Cider

per 12-oz can: 160 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Calling all rosé lovers: this is bound to be your new favorite fall bev. Dmitri Chekaldin, owner of Dacha Beer Gardens, says this cider is always a big hit with customers come fall—and it's easy to see why.

Bursting with juicy gold rush apples and merlot grapes, it's hard to believe there are 0 grams of sugar in this flavorful cider. All of Capitol Cider House's offerings are unfiltered, sustainably sourced exclusively from within 200 miles of the Capitol Building, and free of added sulfites. And this one in particular boasts a slightly higher ABV than most other hard ciders, clocking in at 6.9% ABV.

Buy now at Total Wine.

6

Ironbound Devil's Harvest

Ironbound Devil's Harvest

per 12-oz can: 140 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 0 g protein

"The folks at Ironbound create some absolutely phenomenal flavor variations of their hard cider," says Nick Kanakaris, beverage manager and sommelier at Sergeantsville Inn.

Case in point: this unique cider is infused with tart cherries, wild cranberries, and a hint of white pepper. Fruit-forward with a hint of spice, it's the perfect choice when you want to shake things up from your typical apple-forward sippers.

Not only is Ironbound's cider naturally gluten-free, but it also contains zero added sugar, sulfites, or other preservatives.

Buy now at Giannone Wine & Liquor Co.

7

2 Towns Pacific Pineapple Unfiltered Cider

Pacific Pineapple

per 12-oz can: 170 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 12 g carbs (0 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 0 g protein

Thanks to the addition of ripe Costa Rican pineapples, this unfiltered option offers a tropical take on hard cider. It offers a pleasant, unexpected tang, and it's not too sweet, either.

There are a few aspects that set 2 Towns apart. For one, all the ciders are made with fresh-pressed Northwestern apples sourced online from Oregon and Washington farms. The slow cold fermentation process also helps maintain the delicate tasting notes of all the ingredients, and the traditional cider-making techniques ensure the integrity of flavor that can't be matched.

With a modest 5% ABV, this Pacific Pineapple Cider is the kind you could savor all day, all year long. Find a hammock, crack one open, close your eyes, and you just might think you're in a Caribbean paradise.

Buy now at Target.

RELATED: 5 Wines Made from the Lowest Quality Ingredients

8

Ace Joker Dry Hard Cider

Ace Joker Dry Hard Cider

per 12-oz bottle: 190 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (0 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 0 g protein

It's no wonder this hard cider has won a bevy of awards: with brut-like characteristics, it pairs equally well with seafood, cheese, and poultry.

The Joker came about when Ace's master cider maker decided to experiment and make a strong, dry European-style offering. The apple juice is double fermented with champagne yeast to give it a sparkling profile, giving this cider an undeniably more sophisticated taste. Did we mention it has an eye-opening 6.9% ABV, and there are just 3 grams of sugar and carbs?

Buy now at Total Wine.

RELATED: 8 Hard Seltzers That Use the Highest Quality Ingredients

9

Samuel Smith's Organic Cider

Samuel Smith's Organic Cider

per 12-oz bottle: 151 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 10.2 g carbs (0 g fiber, 9.2 g sugar), 1.8 g protein

Buy now at Total Wine.

It's not difficult to find Samuel Smith on the shelves of your local retailer, and with good reason. This independent British brewery's cider boasts a light body, crisp and clean flavor, and a dry apple blossom finish. There are no gimmicky flavors or additives here, just a few ingredients like organic apple concentrate, organic sugar, malic acid, and yeast.

With big flavors of red and green apples, some subtle spicy yeast, hints of grape, and soft floral notes, this cider is simple and straightforward, yet ultra-crushable. Fun fact: Samuel Smith's cider also happens to be registered with The Vegan Society.

The post 9 Best Hard Ciders To Drink This Fall appeared first on Eat This Not That.


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