Iced Cider — or Cidre De Glace as they say in Quebec — is the cider equivalent of ice wine: a sweet and luscious fermented beverage made from the frozen juice of apples.
In a province where cider production is growing fast and furiously, it’s no wonder Iced Cider is making it’s mark. The process has long been celebrated in Quebec, QuA�bec Ice Cider is protected by law with a reserved appellation. It’s only in the last decade has it really seen growth in Ontario.
There are two main approaches to producing ice cider: cryoconcentration and cryoextraction.
Cryoconcentration involves harvesting the fruits late in season and leaving them in fresh storage until late December, when they are pressed and the fresh juice is left to freeze naturally. In January, the concentrated juice begins the process of cold fermentation.
Cryoextraction (not the same as the cryoextraction of wine) is similar to the traditional method used to produce ice wine: apples are left on the trees, at the mercy of the weather, until the end of January. They are picked when the temperature hovers around -8A�C to -15A�C, and then pressed and left to cold ferment for months.
What results is as complex as icewine, but with a more complex acidity. Ice cider is great by itself as an apA�ritif, or with aged cheese. It’s also an easy accompaniment to desserts like tarte tatin or traditional apple pie.
Here are some varieties to try:
Applewood Farm Iced Cider
Applewood Farm | Stouffville, Ontario
This unexpected cider took home the Gold Medal at the All Canadian Wine Championships a few years back. It’s sweet, thick but also very tart. The intense apple flavour is derived from cryoconcentration.
Prince Edward County Ice Cider
County Cider Co | Prince Edward County, Ontario
This is a particularly successful cider because it’s made from Russet, Ida Red, and Northern Spy apples � varieties that do not fall when ripe but hang on through freezing temperatures. That means they’re particularly good for cryoextraction!
Frozen To The Core
Georgian Hills Vineyards | Beaver Valley, Ontario
This delicious sweet amber nectar has intense apple flavours with warm hints of spice and honey. It’s cousin, the Baked Apple Frozen to the Core is also amazing, with notes of caramelized brA�lA�e and cinnamon. This is a dessert wine, but holds up equally well with aged cheddar.
Many Ontario iced ciders are available in bigger LCBOs, but we encourage you to get out to the cideries and experience them first hand! Once you’ve got your bottle home, it’s time to serve it! We love iced cider with old, gnarly aged cheeses — like the over aged gouda from Mountainoak Cheese in Oxford County.
For the cider averse (does such a person exist?!) try pairing it with some Ontario bubbles for a fruity, sparkly cocktail. It’s a great way to make any gathering feel special.
For more info on Ontario ciders and the many producers growing and pressing this liquid, visit The Ontario Craft Cider Association.