As warmer temperatures (eventually, maybe) arrive, ‘tis the season for rosé. But this year, it’s also time to get to know rosé’s not-too-distant cousin: rosé cider. There might not be a better mashup of two terrific trends because: cider + rosé = a little sip of heaven.
Despite its name, rosé cider is not actually made by combining rosé and cider. It’s a cider that gets it beautiful pinkish-red hue from the flesh of red apples, and sometimes grapes and other berries. Flavor profiles vary from sweet to tart to dry to tannic.
Not all rosé ciders are created equal, so we put together this list to let you know exactly what you should be sipping and posting this crucial time of year (#trendingnow).
Angry Orchard Rosé Cider
You know something has reached peak trend when Angry Orchard makes a version. This is the easiest rosé cider to find, but, we’re sad to say, we found it the least palatable. The sweetness here is sky-high, reminding some tasters of melted red Skittles. If you are a true cider fan, hold off for the good stuff.
Feeling fancy? Go French with Louis Raison’s imported cidre. It relies heavily on fleshy red apples, meaning it comes off on the sweeter side but remains balanced. We enjoyed the sweetness, but a soupçon of effervescence would have knocked this one out of the park.
Citizen Cider bRosé
Although it’s made with a combination of blueberries and apples, the blues definitely take the lead on this one. It’s mouth-puckeringly tart, and finishes with a slightly sweet note. We wish it were a little bubblier, but we’ll let that go for its uniquely bright, bracing taste.
Seattle Cider Winesap Rosé
Seattle is producing some incredible ciders these days, with Seattle Cider Company leading the charge. This summer alone, the label will release FOUR, yes count them, four rosé ciders, including this one made with Winesap apples and conditioned in Syrah barrels. The flavors blend beautifully. Keep an eye out for the label’s other flavors, dropping later this season: Cucumber Hibiscus, Gravenstein Rosé (similarly conditioned in Mourvèdre barrels) and a summer special, Berry Rosé.
Bold Rock Hard Cider – Seasonal Rosé
Produced in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this regional, seasonal chart-topper is only around for a limited time. Look for it as far north as Pennsylvania and as south as Georgia on the East Coast; if you can get your hands on this one, you are in for a treat. It’s light with fruity notes, and a tad sweet but not overwhelming.
Wolffer No. 139 Dry Rosé Cider
The undisputed king of rosé ciders. Available in 4-packs of 12-ounce bottles at a delightfully buzz-inducing 6.9 percent ABV, this is everything you want in a rosé cider, with a super-cute label to boot. It’s crisp, it’s bubbly, and it’s dry without losing the refreshing flavor of a sparkling rosé. It’s widely available and often can be found on tap, and is the preferred cider of our industry insiders. In sum, this is the cider of the season.