I’ve had flights of wine and flights of craft beer, but never before had I had a flight of hard cider. In fact, the only hard cider I’d tasted is the big-named, bottled kind. So when I saw the variety of ten or so flavors available at the Northern Natural Cider House in downtown Traverse City, I wanted to try as many as I could without going overboard. My husband and I each ordered a flight of four, allowing us to taste eight different flavors.
Except for the Traditional Apple flavor, the ciders are mostly mixed with various fruits. Northern Natural uses only Michigan grown apples in their beverages, and most of the other fruits are locally grown, as well. All are organic.
Similar to wine, ciders are described as semi-sweet or semi-dry. The Orange Blossom is described as off-dry. My favorite tended to be the semi-sweets, as they usually are with wines. The fruit was very pronounced in some, like the cherry; with others, it was more subtle. I could smell the fruit in some more than I could taste it.
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Lavender Apple was the most unusual flavor I sampled. It smelled beautiful, like fresh lavender flowers. It’s a semi-dry, and the taste wasn’t one of my favorites, but it’s one of the most sought after ciders for its uniqueness.
The food at Northern Natural Cider House is locally sourced and organic, with a menu that changes seasonally. My Traverse City Salad (sans the gorgonzola cheese) with a cherry vinaigrette was tasty and just enough, and my husband enjoyed his meal, a turkey sandwich special of the day served with a pasta salad and chips.
Northern Natural Cider House, located at 324 East Front Street, is a unique complement to the many wineries in Traverse City. Check the web site for hours and full menu.
Disclosure: My visit to Travers City was sponsored by Traverse City Tourism. However, our meal at Northern Natural Cider House was on our own, and any opinions expressed are strictly mine.
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