June is Pride Month: Celebrate our Industry and All of the People and Styles That Make It Amazing

As we step into Pride Month, it’s a perfect time to celebrate everything that makes the cider industry so vibrant and dynamic. Our community thrives because of the people and the styles and stories that they share. 

Commissioned in 1978, the rainbow flag was made as a visual representation of love and safety for all races, ages, and genders in the LGBTQIA+ community.  The very same safety and togetherness that we value and hold as pillars of our industry. Publicly demonstrating your alliance with these values through your brand and images helps us to keep these ideals at the forefront, and to celebrate the progress that has been made.

This Pride Month, let’s honor the contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community and their invaluable impact on the Cider world. It’s a perfect time to embrace the spirit of inclusivity and unity that lies at the heart of our community. Whether you’re a seasoned cider professional or a newcomer to the scene, there’s a place for everyone here.

Join Our Rainbow Photo Contest!

To celebrate Pride Month, we’re excited to announce a photo contest that captures the essence of our community through the colors of the rainbow. We invite you to participate and showcase your creativity and love for cider in a way that highlights each vibrant hue.

How to Participate:

  1. Take a Photo: Snap a picture that incorporates all the colors of the rainbow or just one color of your choosing in a creative way. It could be a beautifully arranged cider tasting with colorful fruits, a picturesque orchard scene, or anything that represents the spirit of Pride and our industry.
  2. Share Your Story: Along with your photo, share a brief story or description of what Pride and the cider community mean to you. We want to hear your unique perspective!
  3. Submit Your Entry: Post your photo and story on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #CiderPride2024. Make sure to tag us @pickcider. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.


The contest runs throughout the month of June, and winners will be announced in early July. Six winners will be chosen from the entries at random and will be featured in our monthly newsletter and receive a Cider is for Everyone hoodie.

From Snack to Sensation: Elevating Cider and Cheese for National Grilled Cheese Day

It is widely known that cider and cheese make exceptional pairings, but can we upgrade an excellent snack into the perfect meal? For National Grilled Cheese Day, I took to my favorite aisle in the grocery store to find new ways to bring cider and cheese together. 

When considering pairings, there are a few things I like to start with

  • Match intensities: This can be very important when working with strong flavors like those found in blue cheese.
  • The 4 C’s: Whether you start with the cheese or with the cider, consider if there are elements of each that you wish to balance out or to bring to the front by using the cut, complete, complement, or contrast methods.
  • Consider your condiments: Condiments can make or break a pairing so don’t forget about them.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of bubbles: Especially when working with buttery bread and strong cheese, allowing the carbonation to help cut through the fat can be very useful.

In this instance, I like to start with my type of cheese and then choose my cider style and complete the dish with bread, condiments, and other add-ons. In order to showcase the wide range of ciders available I have made pairings for all 5 of the Cider Families: Cider, Perry, Fruit Cider, Botanical Cider, and Dessert Cider.


Fresh mozzarella on a toasted baguette with crispy bacon and pistachio crumbles is cut and complemented by a cider made in the traditional method. The sparkling nature will cut through the buttery bread and fatty bacon and bring complementary fruity and vegetal qualities.

Smoked gouda on sourdough with honey dijon mustard, Pink Lady apple slices, and lemon zest is complemented by a harvest driven apple cider featuring at least medium tannin and no more than medium acidity. Consider a single varietal for this pairing. 


Aged cheddar on pumpernickel with a blueberry compote and balsamic vinaigrette is beautifully balanced by the floral acidity and light sweetness of a perry. Consider a blend of both low and high tannin pears to match the intensity of the cheddar. 

Fruit Cider

Gorgonzola on multi-seed bread with avocado and arugula paired with a semi-sweet, medium to medium+ acidity fruit cider. Consider a sour cherry cider for this pairing to bring out the nutty and green components of the sandwich.

Botanical Cider

Fontina cheese on potato bread with a basil pesto and fresh spinach can shine brightly with a semi dry botanical cider. Best cider matches for this pairing would have a medium body and at least medium acid that has nutty and green notes.

Dessert Cider

So for the dessert pairing, let me take you somewhere a little off the wall and make a sweet grilled cheese pairing. Brie cheese on a toasted croissant with nutella and fresh raspberries are the perfect match for ice cider that features notes of citrus floral and green.

Cheese and cider are the perfect pairing, and there are endless possible combinations. Don’t be afraid to trust your gut and measure with your heart. 

Looking for more information on cider and food pairing? Download our Food and Cider Pairing Basics Guide.

Looking for in person options to learn more about cider and food pairing? Check out our upcoming Level 1 Certified Cider Guide workshops around the country.

Delicious Cocktail Concoctions for Dry Cider July

Summer is my favorite time of year for cocktails, from lazy beach days to backyard barbecues, or just relaxing under the warm sun, every activity is ripe with cocktail possibilities. It doesn’t hurt that we are surrounded by fresh juicy berries, crisp veggies, and citrus galore. I can think of no better way to enjoy the bounty of the season than to create dry cider cocktails for any palate.

Basic Rules for Cocktails

When it comes to creating your own cocktail recipes, there are a few basic rules that can really up your game.  

  • The 3 Ingredient Formula: Classic cocktails tend to follow a similar and reproducible 3 “ingredient” formula. Base liquor, ingredients to add sweetness, acidity, or both, and then your extras.  The goal of the 3 ingredient formula is to create the perfect trifecta of balance and to be a building block for endless cocktail variations.
  • Ice: Should your drink be shaken, stirred, or built? Should your drink be served up or on the rocks?  The accepted “rule” is to shake if there is citrus in the cocktail, and to stir if the cocktail is spirit heavy. Built cocktails, also known as mixed drinks tend to be one liquor and one mixer with no added acid or sweet ingredients.
  • Ratios: As for ratios, I like to start by considering the “golden rule” or 2:1:1.  That is 2 parts spirit to 1 part sweet and 1 part sour. While I do use the word “rule”, I do say that with a grain of salt. These are more guidelines than hard and fast rules and are meant simply as a starting point for your cocktail constructions.

How Dry Cider Fits In

Now that we have our basic cocktail formula down, we can start to piece in cider to our formula. There are a few basic parameters to help in choosing just the right cider.

First, we can break any cider down into its base components: Sweetness/ Acidity/ Tannin

Because we are looking for cocktails using only dry cider, that leaves us with the following 4 categories.

  • Dry high acid, high tannin
  • Dry low acid, low tannin
  • Dry low acid, high tannin
  • Dry high acid, low tannin

Along with these categories, be sure to also consider fruitiness or perceived sweetness in the cider.

Next, we can break a cider down even further into basic mouthfeel and flavor categories. This would include whether it is still or sparkling, barrel aged or not.  We could even dive as deep as pinpointing its most expressive flavor elements, but to be honest, we don’t even need to go that far to make delicious cider cocktails.

Now we have our basic cocktail rules and we have our basic cider components we can start to construct some delicious cocktails. I started my list by venturing out to the local farmers market. I was struck by the number of delicious fruits, berries and cucumbers and even fresh eggs that caught my eye. This was the inspiration for these true summer cocktails.

White Linen a.k.a  Cucumber Gin Fizz

This cocktail is a refreshing crowd pleaser.  

  • 1.5 oz. gin
  • .5 oz. St. Germain
  • Cucumber 
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz. simple syrup
  • Saline spray (optional)
  • Top with a dry floral cider
  • Cucumber ribbons for garnish

Muddle cucumber in a shaker, add gin ( I like Hendricks in this application), St. Germain, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice. Add ice, shake well and double strain

Upstate New York Sour

Elegant and beautiful, this twist on a classic cocktail is sure to please. 

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • .75 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 1.5 oz. dry tannin forward cider
  • Bourbon-soaked cherries for garnish

Add bourbon, simple syrup, lemon juice and egg white (or vegan foamer) to a shaker and dry shake to incorporate all the ingredients and achieve a nice foamy texture. Add ice and wet shake. Strain into a rocks glass and add a large ice cube. Using the backside of a bar spoon, float 1.5 oz of your favorite dry tannin forward cider.

Summer Cider Sangria

Looking to make a large batch cocktail that you can adjust ingredients based on what you have on hand? This is the perfect cocktail for any summer plans. 

  • 750ml dry cider
  • ½ cup apple or pear brandy
  • Apple or pear slices
  • Fresh berries
  • Fresh citrus
  • Citrus round and mint or other fresh savory herbs for garnish

Combine your fresh fruit and cider of choice into a large pitcher and stir to combine.  Once satisfied with the fruit infusion, add the brandy and lots of ice. If you prefer your sangria to be a little sweeter, add fresh juice or lemonade.

 *Note: you can change up the fruits used to better suit your cider choice. If your cider is low in acid, you could use more citrus. If your cider is higher in tannin, you could use more juicy red fruits to balance.

Not sure which cider to use, check out the American Cider Association’s Dry Cider Finder for a fantastic list of dry ciders throughout the US.