Seattle Cider Company | Golden Tonic Third Anniversary Cider
The craft cider revolution has claimed a permanent spot in the hearts and appetites of Seattleites, and no one is more responsible for cider’s huge boom in popularity than Seattle Cider Company. Hailing as Seattle’s first cidery since prohibition, Seattle Cider’s flagship Dry and Semi-Sweet ciders can be found in virtually every beer bar, cocktail bar and grocery store in the area. Their diverse array of ciders manages to showcase bold, refreshing flavors without tasting sugary or overly sweet.
Seattle Cider Company celebrated their third anniversary at the end of August, and I had the opportunity to attend the anniversary party held at their tasting room, The Woods (which they share with craft brewery Two Beers Brewing Co.). They had an impressive 18 unique ciders on tap for the event, but out of all the intriguing options, their special Golden Tonic anniversary cider was the standout of the day.
The Golden Tonic cider remedy is the product of a collaboration between Seattle Cider and Strawberry Moon Juice Co., an organic raw juice company in Seattle. The tonic is a blend of Strawberry Moon’s cold-pressed carrot, ginger and lemon juice with Seattle Cider’s Three Pepper and Dry ciders. The result is a mouthwatering, thirst-quenching beverage with the tingle of a cider and the smoothness of a fruit juice. The drink is so complex and so perfectly balanced that I could write about it (and drink it) for days, but I’ve summarized the highlights for our PD readers below.
First, the appearance – thanks to the carrot juice, I daresay the color of the tonic is unlike anything that has ever been written about here on PorchDrinking before. The drink is an opaque tangerine color and looks like a tastier version of what Orange Faygo could be. But while the juice makes its presence known from the color of the beverage, the cider elements are apparent in the nose. The nose has floral and green jalapeño scents from the Three Peppers cider in the blend, giving it a stronger scent profile than most ciders can boast.
The nose only hints at a small piece of what’s to come. The creativity and mastery with which this drink was concocted are most apparent in the succession of flavors and experiences that this tonic manages to surface in each sip. At first, the cider is sweet and heavier than most ciders, bringing to mind the fresh carrot juice that serves as part of the drink’s base. But interestingly, the next flavor to hit your palate is the mild spiciness of habanero and jalapeño peppers. This is followed by lemony citrus notes and an apple tartness, which are then rounded out by a smooth, juicy finish.
The Golden Tonic anniversary cider was one of this summer’s most memorable beverages for me. With the originality and collaborative spirit that went into the creation of this brew, I can’t wait to see what the next three years have in store for the Seattle Cider Company. Cheers to three years!