Cider House Rules

The local cider revival

The local hard cider revival is here, and we present our pick for the wittiest name: Naked Flock.

Town lore in Warwick, New York, has it that a flock of local geese, after feasting on a field of poppies and falling asleep, were taken for dead and unceremoniously plucked. They later awoke, shivering.

Naked poultry aside, we love the taste of these dry, effervescent ciders ($9 to $10 for 22 oz.) from Applewood Winery. Local honey and maple syrup add a touch of sweetness, highlighting the intense autumnal flavor of Hudson Valley apples.

Cidermaster Jonathan Hull has been bottling and selling the hard cider upstate for 16 years; this fall, he finally began distributing the cider in New York City. Try the Original, made with champagne yeast, or the Draft, laced with maple syrup and Belgian ale yeast. The first yeasty whiff conjures thoughts of beer, but the flavor sparkles with deep, true apple taste. Crisp and clean, the cider demands to be paired with hearty fall dishes.

Look for seasonal varieties soon as Hull infuses his cider with flavors like currant and strawberry.

Naked Flock Cider is available online and at select NYC locations, including Whole Foods Bowery and Tribeca, The Greene Grape, Pioneer Supermarket UWS and City Swiggers.