Liquid Diet: How ’Bout Them Apples?

Quench your thirst this fall with New England’s top heritage ciders.

Photo by Lizzy Barrett

Extra Sec

Pictured: All Eden ciders have a wine-world counterpart: This semidry sparkler blending heirloom and bittersweet apples from Vermont and New Hampshire, for example, is fermented in the traditional Champagne style. But instead of the brandy customarily used in France, it’s finished with a splash of ice cider, a sweet dessert drink produced by Eden in frosty northern Vermont.

158 Main St., Newport; 41 Main St., Winooski, Vt., 802-334-1808,

Roxbury Russet

Cider is “a terroir product,” says Artifact’s Soham Bhatt, who seeks truly local ciders whenever he travels. At home in Everett, that translates to crafting a vintage with the original American apple cultivar, the Roxbury Russet, discovered here in Boston in the 17th century. This fall’s single-variety release is a filtered, finely pétillant expression of the yellow-green orb.

151 Bow St., Unit B, Everett, 617-544-3494,

Oak Hill Blend

The first foray into booze by this family-owned Massachusetts orchard, a collaboration with hard-cider maker Stormalong, is a cloudy, lush thirst quencher bursting with McIntosh characteristics akin to Carlson’s non-alcoholic supermarket staple. Try it at the orchard’s temporary tasting tent, open through November, and next year when it opens a new taproom in Harvard.

115 Oak Hill Rd., Harvard, 800-286-3916,

Heritage Blend

Al and Denise Snape, cofounders of this Salem cider house, are revitalizing a century-old, 120-acre orchard in Acton, Maine, to establish a usable stable of cider fruit within a few years. Until then, the tasting-room-only Heritage Blend series, crafted with other Maine apples, is a good introduction to their super-tannic styles.

108 Jackson St., Salem, 978-224-2904,

Deer Snacks

This annual-release cider is made with hundreds of unique apple varieties found by following deer grazing patterns. Naturally fermented and unfiltered, it’s also a delicious byproduct of Shacksbury’s Lost Apple Project, which seeks to propagate particularly tannic cultivars in its central Vermont orchards.

11 Main St., Vergennes, Vt., 802-458-0530,