Traditional rosé and prosecco have become symbols of Sunday brunch and days at the pool, and now cider fans can get in on the fun too.
Woodchuck Hard Cider, the brand that brought the pre-Prohibition beverage back into America's consciousness, has developed two new varieties that are designed to appeal to wine drinkers. The drier taste and extra carbonation are just another side of a company that's been forging its own path since 1991, when Vermont-based winemaker Greg Failing began experimenting with apples.
Megan Skinner, brand director for Vermont Cider Company, offered up a little more about these two new innovative hard ciders.
CultureMap: What inspired you to create Bubbly Rosé and Bubbly Pearsecco ciders?
Megan Skinner: At the core of Woodchuck, we have always believed that hard cider is a bridging beverage between beer, wine, and spirits. In the past we have crafted ciders such as Belgian White or Hopsation for beer drinkers, and with our newest offering we are inspired by wine.
CM: Describe the look and taste of the ciders.
MS: Bubbly Rosé has a fresh apple aroma with a fruit-forward, crisp, smooth finish. It is pink in color and medium-bodied with carbonation. Bubbly Pearsecco has a subtle pear aroma with a dry, crisp pear taste. It is a light straw color and is bubbly with high carbonation.
CM: For those who are new to cider, where do these ones fall on the taste scale?
MS: On the dry to sweetness scale, Bubbly Rosé is a traditional cider,that is semi-sweet. Bubbly Pearsecco is a fruity cider that falls between dry to semi-dry.
CM: Tell us a little about the design of the cans.
MS: Both packages are meant to speak to the wine drinker, with bubbles on the cans to convey their higher carbonation. Bubbly Rosé's packaging is bright pink, which is meant to convey its color and personality, while Bubbly Pearsecco's packaging is light blue.
CM: What are some serving tips?
MS: We recommend drinking these at a cool temperature in stemless Champagne glassware to truly enjoy the effect of the bubbles. Italian food goes great with Bubbly Rosé, while seafood is a good match with Bubbly Pearsecco.
CM: How are the ciders made?
MS: Woodchuck's Bubbly Rosé is crafted using a blend of red apples and then back-sweetened with fresh juice to deliver a balanced cider. Woodchuck's Bubbly Pearsecco variety is a dry, bubbly pear cider with a crisp clean finish, taking inspiration from sparkling wine.
CM: Tell us a fun fact about cider.
MS: Both varieties are naturally gluten-free with no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial ingredients.
CM: What kind of cocktails can you make with these?
MS: Here are two terrific mixology recipes for Bubbly Pearsecco:
Combine the juice of 2 limes, 1 tsp. of caster sugar, and 1 oz. of rum in a glass and gently muddle.
Top with Woodchuck Pearsecco and fresh mint.
Fizzy Spiked Pear Cider Punch
Combine 2.5 oz. pear juice, ½ oz. vanilla vodka, ½ oz. simple syrup, and Woodchuck Pearsecco.
Add fresh pears for garnish.