Happy Monday! It’s officially Summer-time!!! Even the weather in Nova Scotia is acting the part, thanks Momma Nature, you da best.
I want to catch up because a lot has happened these last two weeks. My fifth year anniversary of this blog just passed about a week ago, which is absolutely crazy to me! Five years, devoted to food on the internet. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.
Last week I joined a Ladies Beer League, yeahhh girl. If you are in Halifax check out their Facebook page. We convened at Garrison Brewery, and kicked off night by trying a casked version of the Nit-Wit beer they have for the summer. There was huge difference in flavour between what you can buy in stores and what we were lucky enough to taste. The casked version they unveiled was fed with honey and elderflower juice/essence and has a sweeter taste, a really red colour. It actually kind of tasted like a red beer with a black-currant syrup stirred in. The bottled version is a Belgium beer, nicely balanced with a bite of citrus and a fine fizzy body, it even has a super cute label.
I’ve been restaurant-hoping and went to Indochine two weeks in a row for amazing banh mi. I also visited a fairly new restaurant by Craig Flinn called 2 Doors Down and had an amazing cocktail called Kentucky Royale that was composed of Kentucky bourbon, local black-currant liqueur, cava and orange peel.
I hauled out the lawn chairs and the dog pool, made overnight oats in mason jars (breakfasts for work) and saw the new Star Trek movie.
Day to-day, I’ve been reading and not cooking, lounging in the sun and not cleaning and I’ve been staring at my dogs playing in their pool instead of walking them cause it’s too hot (for them, not me, I love it!). Whether I’ve been reading, lounging or staring at the dogs I’ve been mostly enjoying hard cider with a side of sunshine. This summer is for cocktails and cider, and I really want to do a whole cider week. Scratch that it may take me two!
What is hard cider?
Hard cider is a bubbly alcoholic drink generally made from apples. You can get all types of flavoured ciders, and ciders made from other fruit sources as well as different sweetness and dryness levels.
Ship Builders Cider
I’m going to start with a local one called Ship Builders Cider. Not to ruin any surprises or anything, but I’m sure this is will remain one of my favorites as my cider reviews go on.
Nova Scotia makes excellent cider in quite a few varieties and per-bottle, this is one of the cheapest. It’s sold in 500mls at your local NSLC for about $3.29 a bottle. I wish you could buy a 6-pack for less but I have only seen individual bottles.
When I got to the cash register, the cashier asked me if I liked Strongbow (traditional English cider which is quite dry). I really do like Strongbow because it’s not sweet and crisp but she said while ‘it’s marketed as being dry, its not’. I took it home anyway expecting to not really like it but wanting to give the local product a chance. I’m really glad I did because this cider is so lovely. For me it’s one of the best ciders I’ve had. It has slightly more apple flavour than Strongbow, with only a touch more sweetness. It’s very acidic which reminds me of a dry riesling. It’s true to its bottles description of being extremely crisp and refreshing, perfect for a summer’s day and makes a great alternative to beer.
After doing some research on the brand, I found it’s actually made by the same company that makes Stutz which is slightly sweeter than Ship Builders. Stutz has been one of my local favorites for a while but I think I’m switching to it’s drier cousin.
If you have never tried cider, I encourage you to check one out. Join me on my Summer mission for the perfect cider, I’m sure you have a local gem in your area!