For us, there is nothing as seasonally evocative — not eggnog, not strawberry shortcake, not ripe fresh-from-the-tree peaches — as cold, crisp, and fragrant fresh-pressed apple cider. The cider presses have been operating for weeks now but the apples that make up the autumn elixir are always changing, depending on what the trees are offering. Right now, cider is at its best. As Cider Hill Farm of Amesbury, Massachusetts says, “October and November ciders pick up the fruitiest, deepest, and most complex flavors.”
The Hartford Courant takes a look at some of New England’s iconic cider sources, including Bishop’s Orchards of Guilford, CT and Cold Hollow Cider Mill of Waterbury Center, VT (Cold Hollow’s cider jelly, by the way, is extraordinary). This would be a good time to plan a trip to an orchard for some fresh cider and cider donuts. You might get a tour of the operation as well, and perhaps even a hay ride.