Spring Fling

A long winter's reward from Vermont

Eden Ice Cider Company has us rethinking our spring cocktails.

Starting this month, the products from this Vermont-based company are finally available in NYC. Though Eden's three ice ciders are superb alongside many desserts, it's the brand's new Orleans aperitif wine ($35) that we'll be enjoying before, during and after meals.

To create the golden-hued drink, Eden's husband-and-wife team, Albert and Eleanor Leger, collaborated with Caleb Barber and Deirdre Heekin, who own Osteria Pane e Salute in Woodstock. After the apples are pressed in November, the juice is cold-concentrated over the winter, fermented until there is almost no residual sugar and then infused with organic basil and anise hyssop for a week.

The resulting vermouth-like elixir is honeyed, herbal and floral and definitely not sweet. It's sublime as is, on the rocks or mixed with Prosecco and lime (get more cocktail recipes featuring Orleans).

To the question "How do you like them apples?" we can now assuredly answer, "All year round."

Find Orleans and Eden Ice Cider at Vintage Grape, Columbus Avenue Wine & Spirits and Bowery & Vine.