As Apple Week at Restaurant Girl drew to a close, we thought we’d pass the baton to New York’s own Cider week, a 10-day long celebration of the fermented, alcoholic apple beverage. The annual festival helps increase profits at local orchards while reviving heirloom apple varieties, by fostering a growing awareness of craft cider. And this is accomplished through a series of apple-centric events, from tastings to tap takeovers to sit-down pairing dinners and more — and we’ve got a day-by-day guide to activities you won’t want to miss.
Tertulia Cider Promotion (Fri, Oct. 21st): Seamus Mullen’s award-winning Spanish restaurant is honoring the country’s esteemed cider tradition by serving all-you-can-drink Asturian Sidra Natural alongside lunch or dinner during the entirety of Cider Week — an ideal accompaniment to acorn-fed Jamon Iberico, Blistered Octopus with potato confit, and Arroz Negro interspersed with calamari, candied chorizo and sea urchin.
Porktoberfest (Sat, Oct. 22nd): Cider Week’s official kick-off party takes place on the Manhattan waterfront, and features outdoor grilling and over 10 chef stations (look for Fleishers, Jake’s Handcrafted and Blue Smoke), as well as more than 20 of the region’s best ciders, along with craft beer and a sausage fest!
Lower East Cider Fest (Sun, Oct. 23rd): Bring the orchards back to Orchard Street! This annual festival showcases cider makers and apple growers from the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Western New York and NYC, who’ll be pouring samples and selling their wares alongside pay-as-you-go cider-friendly dishes from area restaurants and shops. Also look for a community cider press with rare and unique cider apples provided by Farnum Hill, and a guest appearance from Descendant Cider — NYC’s first licensed urban cidery — which will grind and press the apples into juice for a lucky few who have pre-purchased a gallon to take home and ferment!
Eden Ciders Dinner at High Street on Hudson (Mon, Oct. 24th): This $65 multi-course dinner of seasonal fare is being held in collaboration with Vermont’s Eden ciders (a purveyor of cold-weather iced varietals), with a menu specially designed to showcase the crisp flavor of New England’s heirloom apples.
Big Apple Preserves Dinner (Tues, Oct. 25th): Join American Farmland Trust for this apple-themed cocktail reception and dinner, celebrating their mission to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices, keep farmers on the land and reflect on notable achievements in New York. A local spirits tasting hosted by Hill Rock Estate Distillery will kick off the evening, followed by a farm-to-table dinner prepared by Cleaver Company; NYC’s pre-eminent, all-green caterers.
Spanish Cider Feast at Huertas (Wed, Oct. 26th): This one-night-only event showcases a new collaborative cider created by the East Village’s premiere pintxos spot, Huertas, and Shacksbury Cider of Vermont. The evening will feature a Basque family-style feast (think Tortilla de Bacalao, Blistered Peppers, and Roast Chicken in a Pickled Pepper Sauce) as well as unlimited tastes of the exciting, unique beverage.
Applepalooza 2016 (Thurs, Oct. 27th): Back for its seventh year, Applepalooza at the Astor Center offers a cornucopia of delectable ciders and apple-based spirits from right here in New York, to international varieties via England, France, Spain, and more. And as you enjoy your sips of cider, you’ll be able to snack on delicious fall apple-tizers, that pair perfectly with the classic fall drink.
Cider Week Specials at Foragers Table (Fri, Oct. 28th): Stop by the Chelsea Market restaurant for cider-brined Meili Farms Pork Chops and caramelized crab apples, as well as a triple crème Old Chatham Gatekeeper cheese with a cider-washed rind from Crown Finish Caves, paired with Redbyrd Orchard Barrel-Fermented Still Cider from the Finger Lakes.
New York State of Mind at Wassail (Sat, Oct. 29th): Tia Keenan, author of “The Art of the Cheese Plate: Pairings, Recipes, Style, Attitude”, teams up with Wassail’s pommelier (yes, you heard us right!) Dan Pucci, as well as chef Vinicius Campos, for a tasting of New York state cider and cheese, along with inventive sweet and savory culinary pairings.
Sensory Evaluation for Cider Lovers (Sun, Oct. 30th): Get to know your taste buds and olfactory receptors with a series of experiments geared towards fine-tuning your cider palate. You’ll learn how to identify the specific positive and negative tastes and aromas in cider, and at the end of class, you will test your newly found skills with a cider tasting!
For more information, visit ciderweeknyc.com