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What Is Ice Cider?

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What Is Ice Cider?

Honey Crisp Apples

Photo © Molly Watson

Ice cider isn't apple juice on ice, it's a delicate, delicious liqueur made from frozen apples. It is a specialty of Quebec.

How Ice Cider Is Made

Much like its sweet and complex comrade, ice wine, ice cider is made from frozen fruit. Apples are left outside, sometimes on the trees, sometimes on racks, to freeze in the naturally cold winters. This slow process risks rot, to be sure, but when the weather cooperates it helps dry out the apples and concentrate their sugars.

Pressing frozen apples is no easy business. They must be pressed very slowly to extract what juice is left of them (in a standard small apple press the process can take up to five hours) and, because the juices have become so concentrated, it takes 40 pounds of apples to yield just 3 liters of juice.

What juice is obtained is then fermented into apple wine, or ice cider.

How to Serve Ice Cider

Ice cider is at its best when served chilled but not freezing cold (if it's too cold the complex aromas won't be as noticeable). It is delicious on its own, served as dessert with a piece of fruit or another dessert that is both slightly less rich and slightly less sweet than the ice cider.

Ice cider need not be solely consigned to dessert. Its intensity also matches well with super rich and fatty savory dishes, particularly with foie gras or pâté.

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