Hot Vs Cold Apple Cider: How Temperature Affects The Drink's Flavor

Whether you buy it from your local supermarket or make it at home, there's no better way to let your tastebuds know that it's the end of the year than by enjoying a spot of apple cider. However, sipping a delicious cup of cider comes with an important decision. Do we take it hot or cold? Just as the temperature outside can determine what we do with our day-to-day lives, the temperature of our beverage can profoundly affect the taste. Luckily, we've taken it to the experts so you can make an informed choice! We're taking a closer look at when might be best to boil up some hot cider and when it's best to pop a few bottles in the fridge to chill for later! 

It's no secret that both hot and cold cider options are delicious. However, it's important to note that taking your drink at different ends of the thermometer will hit different spots on your tastebuds. This is especially true when we add alcohol to the equation. Many experts agree that hot cider is the way to go when boozing it up. For example, Max Green of Point Seven in New York City notes, "The delicious aromatic notes we attribute to spiked cider are brought to the forefront when the cider is heated." Kavé Pourzanjani, co-owner of Paradise Lost, who specializes in rum-based cocktails, says, "Personally, I prefer a hot cider. Hot cocktails are fun if for no other reason than that they aren't very common. There's no better way to get into the spirit of the season than wrapping your hands around a hot (preferably spiked) beverage." We have to admit, we agree! 

Cold cider is the essence of fresh apples

Cider that has been chilled is more refreshing. We can all agree it's far more preferable to grab an Angry Orchard on a hot summer day than a boiling mug. Beverage Director for Momofuku restaurants, Haera Shin, enjoys both but attests that "The beauty of apple cider is that when it is chilled, it's like you're eating the essence of fresh apples." This is reinforced by Kavé Pourzanjani, who says, "Cold can dull our senses a bit, so a cold apple cider will taste drier and less sweet." This makes it a better choice for those averse to the sweetness typically associated with cider. When it comes to serving a cold cider, Suzanne DeStio,  professional sommelier at One White Street in Tribeca, adds, "Spiked cold cider is super refreshing served on the rocks." So keep a few ice cubes handy because you'll surely want more after that first round! 

No matter what temperature you take your cider at this holiday season, be comforted that there's no wrong way to do it! If you're looking to cool off, there's a myriad of endlessly refreshing spiked cider brands just a grocery store trip away. If cozying up by a roaring fire is more in your wheelhouse, then there's nothing better you can do than put some on to boil and add a splash of dark rum or bourbon. The only constant you'll need to look out for is having enough for everyone because when people catch wind of delicious cider being enjoyed in their vicinity, they're going to want some, too!