Heritage cider is a delish dance partner for sushi. Unexpected, unorthodox… and incredible. Why? It’s pretty simple.
The acidity of cider allows the bright, clean flavors of fish to shine without distraction. It’s a neat and flavorful pairing you won’t forget.
Both sushi & cider have an extraordinary range of flavors, so the pairing potential is endless. That said, there’s a basic rule to keep in mind. Strong flavors can overwhelm the delicate flavors of the fish, so you want to choose a cider that isn’t too bold. Luckily, there are a heaps of options.
If you’re like us, you order a platter of sushi & sashimi – and pick a bottle that plays well with it all. So we’ve structured our recommendations around a handful of compelling ciders that will befriend whatever you order.
Redbyrd Workman Dry: The Classic Crisp Canvas
This zippy, bubbly cider is a blend of heirloom and cider apples with a clean acidic backbone. It’s full of bright tropical fruit flavors but absolutely dry – almost lean, which makes is well suited to showcase the delicate and elegant flavors of your favorite sashimi. Made in part with Wickson apples, it has notes of candied roses that make scallops or red snapper sing. This bottle wins the Miss Congeniality prize – it will pair beautifully with everything on your sushi plate.
Snowdrift Red Cider: Soft Fruity Balance
Made from naturally red-fleshed apples grown in East Wenatchee, WA, this one-of-a-kind cider is reminiscent of cranberries and watermelon. It is an inspired choice to pair with pungent or stronger fish like mackerel or octopus that a glass of white wine just can’t support. The bright red berries aromas balance the savory umami flavors of the fish. Kick it up a notch by upping your wasabi – this gem can take it.
South Hill Packbasket Still: Contrasting with Mineral & Herbal Notes
Steve Selin scouts the nearby hills for the finest wild apple to press for this expressive cider, which truly captures the Finger Lakes terroir. The result is a unique cider with a fresh minerality, as if it was poured from a bubbling brook. No pushover cider, Packbasket Still is ecstatic paired with sinfully fatty tuna belly. And its herbal, almost fennel notes, make it a fantastic friend to shellfish like oysters or clams.
Eaglemount Quince Cider: A Sweet Transformation
Quince is a pome fruit that makes an elusive, floral and memorable cider. Eaglemount makes theirs with fruit grown right on their homestead. The result is intensely aromatic quince cider, that’s reminiscent of delicious gewürztraminer with lychee notes and a tropical, musky aroma. It makes a transformative pairing with assertive sushi options like smoked eel sashimi, ikura (salmon roe) sushi or even a spicy tuna handroll.
Tilted Shed Jonathan: A Rich, Textured Pairing
This creamy cider is aged in oak which gives it a nutty, rich flavor that pairs deliciously with a generous handroll. It has just-the-right texture to match with all that lovely seaweed. We're especially in love with Tilted Shed's Jonathan because its minerality and character make a great date for adventurous palates. If your sushi desires include wild crab or sea urchin, this is your pick.
Time to fire up Seamless and tuck in!