Wino Wednesday: Angry Orchard Hard Ciders

Before I get into my thoughts... did you guys decide if you like Wino Wednesday or not? I don't drink all the time but when I do... erm, wait... that feels so familiar...
So, yes, I'm planning to do a Wino Wednesday any time I've tried something new and interesting in the range of wine, beer, and spirits. Sometimes that will even include a recipe for a cocktail or something to bake or make with the featured drink.

Today, I'm featuring my new fall favorite, Angry Orchard Hard Cider.

As often happens, I was grocery shopping and debating whether my treat would be beer or wine. The gnarly tree on the box of the Ginger variety caught my eye but I'd never actually tried a hard cider before in spite of loving apple cider in general with a passion. I hate admitting to picking things up because I like their packaging but honestly, who doesn't do that sometimes?

I expected I wouldn't like it to be honest. But Angry Orchard Ginger is like blending the sparkling cider my grandma used to serve to us kids every Thanksgiving with ginger ale. The flavor is sweet and light with a satisfying bite of ginger that isn't overpowering. It even looks pretty (hence why I pulled out the clear plastic cup).

If you're a fan of sweet when you drink this is definitely something to try. It's a bit deceptive though. The alcohol kind of creeps up on you and before you know it you've had too many because it's just so easy to palate.

Since trying the Ginger, I've picked up the Traditional Dry and Crisp Apple versions to sample as well. Sweet and bright, the Traditional Dry is a strong contrast to the somewhat bitter Crisp Apple. If you like your spirits with a tart edge the latter is definitely the one to go for while the Traditional Dry is one I'd use for mixed drinks featuring hard cider. My husband tried making a Snake Bite (Guinness and hard cider) with the Crisp Apple and the pairing just tasted muddy to me, I couldn't find the contrast.

Overall, Angry Orchard is just that perfect switcheroo for this time of year. In fact, I think it'd be as welcome at the Thanksgiving feast as at the pub. The only thing I didn't like about it was that the Ginger gives me painful heartburn (something I've only ever experienced when I was pregnant with the tot) if I have more than one. Refreshing, friendly, and great for pairing with the right food it's going to be an autumn staple—if I can stop the hubs from polishing them off before I get to them—for me. Try serving it with turkey burgers, Irish Nachos (I'll be posting something about these eventually, if you don't know what they are already), or BBQ Chicken & Bacon pizza. They even featured this fabulous Turkey brine recipe on their Facebook page.

Happy Thankgiving and cheers!

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