No matter what your Thanksgiving celebration looks like, there's a cider to match.
Wild from Keepsake Cidery, Dundas, Minn.
For a farm-to-table style of feast, you can't beat the heirloom apple and fermentation character that defines Keepsake ciders. Wild is fully spontaneously fermented — meaning they don't add a commercial yeast. It is a completely dry cider with lemony and slightly acetic acidity at the forefront. The flavor of crisp green apples shines through. Subtle notes of wild-fermented barnyard round out the finish.
4609 E. 135th St., Dundas, 413-552-8872, mncider.com
Voyage, Number 12 Cider, Minneapolis
Voyage is my go-to cider at Number 12. Light-bodied, crisp and effervescent, it will cleanse your palate without overwhelming anything on the table. Green and red apple flavor leads the way, supplemented with light citrus. Hints of grilled peaches appear in the background. It goes out dry and refreshing.
66 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-345-4488, number12cider.com.
Cidre Bouché Brut De Normandie, Etienne Dupont, Normandy, France
The nose and palate weave a rich tapestry of fruity sweetness that resembles cooked and concentrated red apples. The sweetness is backed up by complex layers of tannin and acid from the multiple varieties of bitter and sour cider apples that contribute to the juice. Crisp notes of green apple, peppery spice and a hint of barnyard rusticity complete the picture. Poured into a Bordeaux wine glass, this cider will fit perfectly into the most elegant of gatherings.
Widely available at metro-area liquor stores.
Heirloom, Milk & Honey Ciders, St. Joseph, Minn.
At many gatherings, guests bring dishes to pass. You need a well rounded cider that will go with everything and appeal to everyone. Heirloom is perfectly balanced and all about apples. The aroma bursts with fruit — red and green skin and flesh — that follows through to the flavor. Although it is a dry cider, there is enough sweetness to satisfy most cider drinkers. That sweetness is offset by just enough tannin and acidity.
11738 County Road 51, St. Joseph, 320-271-3111, milkandhoneyciders.com.
Mango Habañero, Minneapolis Cider Co., Minneapolis
If you wish to skip the turkey and stuffing in favor of something less traditional, this is a great cider pick. The perfectly blended mango is subtle, allowing apples to stay in the forefront. It provides a hint of juicy fruit without being overly sweet. Hints of lemon and chile pepper flesh round out the flavor. The heat is just a lingering tingle in the finish.
701 SE. 9th St., Mpls., 612-886-1357, minneapoliscider.co.