I’m a huge fan of Eden’s Sparkling & Ice Ciders. I’m in their quarterly cider club and visit their space twice a year to taste and tour and just enjoy their craft. I received a nice email this morning that explains how they make their sparkling ciders. I’ve tried to explain it to people but this really gets down to the nitty gritty and something my readers may miss if they don’t subscribe to Eden’s newsletters:

If anyone at Eden sees this and wants me to take down this post, just let me know

Our sparkling ciders are naturally sparkling, yet clean, and are made from heirloom and bittersweet cider variety apples.

  1. We start with juice from our ice cider cold concentration process where we freeze fresh pressed juice outdoors in our Northern Vermont winter weather. We use over 15 varieties of heirloom apples grown at Scott Farm, and some McIntosh and Empire from Champlain Orchards.
  2. After the cold weather, the juice is fermented to dryness and left to age in our cellar.
  3. The following Fall, we press fresh bittersweet cider varieties from Scott Farm and Poverty Lane Orchards, two renowned growers of heirloom and cider varieties.
  4. We start the fresh juice fermenting with a basic champagne yeast, and gradually add in the dry fermented cider from the previous harvest.
  5. Then we bottle it before the new fermentation is finished. As the fermentation finishes in the bottle, it creates CO2 naturally that is trapped in the bottle.
  6. After resting in the bottles on their sides, and then upside down for at least 3 months, we hand ‘disgorge’ each bottle. Disgorgement is the process in the champagne method where we pop the cap on the bottle, and the spent yeast that has gathered in the neck explodes out because of the pressure of the CO2. We quickly top off the bottles and then re-cap them.
  7. The total process takes us at least 1 1/2 years, and the result is a highly carbonated cider with a wonderful rolling fizz that is clear and clean, yet unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Sparkling Dry Cider

The bittersweet cider apple component in our Sparkling Dry Cider is Kingston Black grown at Scott Farm. It is totally dry – no residual sweetness – and 8.5% alcohol by volume. It tastes of red apple skins, kiwi, bitter herbs, dry biscuit, and granite.

Sparkling Semi-Dry Cider

For our semi-dry sparkling cider, we use bittersweet varieties grown at Poverty Lane Orchard, including Dabinett, Ellis Bitter, Ashton Bitter, and Yarlington Mill. The cider gets its slight sweetness from the addition of a little bit of our Heirloom Blend ice cider when we are topping off from the disgorgement. This is a 9.5% slightly sweet cider that has zero added sugar. The fermentation and the sweetness are just from the naturally occurring sugars in the apples. 9.5% alcohol, it tastes of baked apples, pineapple, citrus, and beeswax.