Blake’s Hard Cider (BHC), the Midwest’s largest craft cidery, announces the release of its first-ever Bar Cart Series, a line of hard ciders inspired by favorite cocktails. Drinkable on its own or with the addition of liquor to create a proper cocktail, Paloma is the first of three in the new line. It will be available across BHC’s 20+ state footprint beginning Friday, Jan. 7 with the two others to follow later in the year.
Paloma, a nod to the traditional cocktail made with grapefruit juice, lime, and tequila, is a semi-sweet hard cider that delivers the perfect balance of citrus and sweetness from agave flavors over an apple cider base. Serve it chilled, over ice or add a shot of tequila and a salted rim to take it to cocktail level. The Bar Cart Series (ABV 6.5% – 8%) will be sold in six-pack 12 oz. cans, MSRP $10.99-$12.99.
“The idea behind our Bar Cart Series stemmed from the variety of cider-based cocktails Blake’s Hard Cider fans make and enjoy, so it was a natural evolution for us to create a line of cocktail-themed ciders,” said Andrew Blake, founder and president, Blake’s Hard Cider. “Cider drinkers are adventurous and not limited to just classic apple. They appreciate the craft side of the beverage and will enjoy the versatility and complexity of our new ciders on their own or with added alcohol if you choose.”
The ready-to drink-market (RTD) has exploded recently and Blake’s joined in on the fun with their Bar Cart Series. Their first offering is the citrusy Paloma. Starting with the can design, we are greeted with bright orange and pink tones, highlighting the ingredients in the product. The design is punchy and simple, with a creative font used for the word Paloma. Looks like a pre-made cocktail can so their mission is accomplished.
Once you open the can, you get the aroma of grapefruit, high acid, and lime juice — a citrusy burst, really. Some of the sweetness pokes through via natural sugars and added agave. It smells mostly citrusy with the smaller and later notes being sweetness. On the pour, you are greeted with a light pinkish product with a healthy amount of carbonation, but it is certainly not overdone. Much of the color looks like it comes from the grapefruit itself. A fun color if you use this cider for a cocktail base. It has more character in the color department than most ciders.
As you take your first sip, you become fully aware of the tangy, tart, citrusy notes that we caught on the nose. This 6.5% ABV is slightly bitter from the involved fruits. You get a bunch of those bitter, tangy fruit notes throughout the experience. Given the qualities of some of these fruits, you experience some of that drying effect on the mouth, too. Moves from the roof of the mouth to the cheeks and so on with its drying magic. After a few sips, you gain a deeper understanding of the sweetness and it comes into deeper balance with the acidic notes. High acid accentuates the agave and they dance well together like most tequila or mezcal drinks that include the same ingredients.
All in all, we see why this is a cocktail-inspired cider and it is elevated with a salt-rimmed glass or some added boozy punch from tequila. This might not be for individuals that hate grapefruit or can only handle so much citrus, but the bitter notes and long-term sweetness make this a perfect RTD beverage and an even better mixer for those that like their hard liquor.
For more information on Blake’s Hard Cider, store locations and availability, visit www.blakeshardcider.com
Blake’s Hard Cider Co., established in 2013, is an independent, family-owned, and operated craft cidery. Located on a 1000-acre orchard in Armada, Mich., Blake’s Hard Cider was founded on the values of its more than 75-year farming roots. By growing, pressing, and fermenting our own apples on our farm, we’re able to proudly and consistently produce a truly authentic and uncompromised craft hard cider experience. Blake’s Hard Cider’s success and growth has been driven by creating adventurous flavor profiles such as Mango Habanero, Triple Berry, and Caramel Apple. Its line-up has expanded further to include the industry’s first 100 calorie Lite Ciders and its rotating #KinderCider Series to support and raise awareness for social and environmental issues and organizations which share Blake’s values. Find and buy Blake’s Hard Cider online at www.blakeshardcider.com.