Cider has incredible pairing possibilities, beyond the traditional fall-inspired dishes. Take a bottle of fine cider out for a spin with spicy Thai food and be prepared to be amazed!
Thai cuisine brings together strong, often contrasting flavors, like citrus, chili and herbs. This balancing act forges an eating experience driven by hedonism as much as hunger.
Pairing with Thai food has always been tricky. Choose the wrong beer or wine and the dish is thrown into disarray. The complexity of cider makes it the perfect foil for the diverse flavors of Thai cuisine. Cider’s modest alcohol level keeps the heat of Thai food in check, since drinks with higher amounts of alcohol can escalate a food’s spiciness. The sweetness and acid in cider balances the heat and brings out a range of flavors in even the most fiery of dishes.
Papaya Salad (Som Tam)
Papaya salad is a staple of Thai cuisine. It’s made of unripe papayas tossed with herbs, fish sauce, citrus, vegetables and proteins. There is a lot happening, between the crunch of the fruit, tartness of the lime, the intensity of herbs and the heat of chili.
Its perfect partner is a fruit-forward cider made with heirloom apples, such Columbia Valley’s Liberty’s Heritage Newtown Pippin or South Hill Bluegrass Russet from the Hudson Valley. The lychee and honey notes balance the crunchy texture and bite from the lime, while the herbaceousness of the heirloom apples matches the herbs in the salad.
Or try a wilder pairing that brings out the fish sauce’s funky flavors and reach for a bottle of Tilted Shed Topwork or floral like Eaglemount’s Quince Cider. The savory underbelly of this cider is a good match for the funk, while preserving the bright green apple freshness.
Tom Yum Soup
Bright with lemongrass, shallots and cilantro, this silky soup is satisfying any day of the week. Sharp ciders like Slyboro’s Night Pasture and Alpenfire’s estate grown Foxwhelp can handle their own against this spicy-sour soup without getting lost. It is crafted with heirloom apples that bring plenty of fruit flavor to balance the fish sauce, while the acidity matches the soup’s richness.
This popular Thai favorite is an irresistible blend of bold flavors. The classic eggy noodle dish combines sweet, earthy and spicy flavors with plenty of crunch. Since Pad Thai can stand up to powerful and intense ciders, it pairs beautifully with rich, full-bodied ciders like Snowdrift’s barrel-aged Cornice, which brings earthy, mushroom flavors and big, round tannins that will break through the delicious richness of the noodles.