Honeycrisp. Northern Spy. Rubyfrost. Jonagold. Apple season has officially begun here in upstate New York. To be honest, I had never heard of most of these varieties before moving here a couple of years ago. When we lived in Atlanta, my wife and I would occasionally go up into the north Georgia mountains for an apple picking trip, but I guess I never paid much attention to the varieties. Apples are serious business here in NY. In fact, I would guess there are at least 20+ orchards within a 30-minute radius of my house. And I definitely take advantage of the local produce…apples are in steady supply in our kitchen (and in my recipes) for almost the entire Fall. Few things top the crisp sweetness of freshly picked apples! I’m excited to say that I’ve also found an apple cider that tastes remarkably similar to freshly picked apples. Stella Artois Cidre is made from hand-picked apples, so it makes sense that it should taste like biting into a crisp, juicy apple. This tasty hard cider has found a permanent spot in my fridge…right next to my hoards of apples!
You may remember another Stella Artois Cidre post from about a month or so ago (click here to check it out). On that occasion, I had the opportunity to attend a release party and sample this tasty, new cider. In this post, however, I am sharing one of my favorite cocktail party recipes…and it also happens to pair quite well with the crisp, fresh apple flavors of Cidre.
When I think of crisp, Autumn apples, my mind immediately jumps to the flavors of sharp cheddar cheese. I remember my mother making these Spicy Cheddar Wafers as far back as I can recall. There seemed to be an endless supply of them around the holidays, but I’ve grown quite fond of snacking on them on chilly Autumn days. The wafers include a bit of cayenne, but I don’t find the spiciness to be overwhelming at all. In fact, the cayenne is more of a “secret ingredient” that makes you want to keep going back for just one more! I find that the sharp bite of cheddar along with the slight spiciness pairs perfectly with a glass of cold Cidre. In fact, I just had this combination last night for a little impromptu happy hour before dinner!
My wife and I recently traveled to Scotland on vacation, and I was surprised to find how popular cider is over there. Every bar offered a couple varieties of hard cider. Heck, even the grocery store sold 12-packs and 2-liters of cider. We might be a little slow on catching that trend here in America, but I think we’re getting there. Unlike other ciders (most of which are overly sweet in my opinion), I find Stella Artois Cidre to be remarkably balanced. Toss in a handful of these Spicy Cheddar Wafers, and you’ve got the perfect combination to toast the arrival of cooler days. Cheers!
“It’s Cidre, not cider.”
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Stella Artois via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Stella Artois.