artisanal production

Ice Cider: The Sweet, Sublime Elixir From Canada

J.M. Towers

Ice ciders from Quebec, Canada, enjoy international recognition, and their quality places them alongside other great ice wines in the world.

One of the most unusual and exclusive spirits you can find in gourmet and wine stores is cidre de glace (or ice cider). This particular wine originates in the cold lands of Quebec, Canada, where its production began just 20 years ago.

Ice Cider

More than 22 pounds of apples are required to obtain a liter of this exquisite nectar, and there are two very different production methods. The first is a breed-concentration of apples—almost always of the McIntosh variety. These are collected and refrigerated, and a few months later their juices extracted. Then, before fermentation, the juice is frozen naturally in outdoor deposits at very low temperatures.

The other processing method is more natural, whereby it yields better results. It is called breed-extraction and involves picking the apples in late January, when the fruit has been subjected to temperatures as low as 1 ° F, raising the natural concentration of sugars. These freshly picked apples, with the consistency of small stones, are squeezed by powerful industrial presses to obtain a precious and scarce juice, which is then fermented for months.

Ice Cider

In order to produce such an exclusive cider, the high standards force producers to cultivate, press, ferment, and bottle the end result in their facilities. Moreover, adding industrial juices, artificial colors or alcohol is not allowed. The sugars in the ice cider reach a minimum of 130 grams per liter and can only be obtained through natural cold to achieve between 7 and 13 percent alcohol by volume. More gourmet products from around the world.

Thanks to the research and development of innovative techniques, Canadian cider manufacturers have transformed a traditional product into an innovative and high-quality drink currently available throughout the international market.

Ice Cider
Photo: Courtesy of Eden Ice Cider Company, Vermont.

A great ice cider from Quebec stands out for its varied yellowish hues and an exquisite acidity, accompanied by aromas of caramelized apples, stewed red plum and ripe quince. In the mouth, it must have a velvety texture, smooth and creamy. Canadian ice cider is a real delight that fills the mouth from the first sip.

Currently, Canada has fifty ice cider producers. Some of the most exceptional manufacturers are located in the areas of Hemmingford and Mont-Saint-Hilaire. These include The Face Cachée de la Pomme, Cidreire du Minot and Cryo.

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