Ciders have gotten a bad rap—especially in the United States, where many are overly sweetened—but artisanal dry ciders from the U.S. and abroad are as balanced as fine wine.
1. Virtue Cider
Former Goose Island brewmaster Gregory Hall crafted this effervescent French-style cider with heirloom apples from Michigan. Its smooth, lagerlike flavor can easily replace the mimosas at the brunch table. Cidre Nouveau, $20
2. Farnum Hill
Made at a bucolic orchard in western New Hampshire, this light and crisp farmhouse cider goes down like seltzer. At 7.5 percent ABV, it's stronger than most beers, so watch how many 750-milliliter bottles you consume. Dooryard Cider, $14
Although dry cider is making a welcome comeback in the U.S., our European friends have kept the tradition alive for centuries. This British cider is a little tart and peaty and pairs perfectly with a hearty ploughman's lunch. Dry Cider, $7
4. Domaine Dupont
For generations cider apples in Europe have been intricately bred and blended, and the French, naturellement, are leaders in creating complexity. To wit, this cider balances sour and sweet, floral and grassy with ease. Cidre Bouché, $12
Ready to get funky? This Basque sidra tastes like nothing you've had before. It's unfiltered (that's yeast floating in your glass), bubble-free and full of woody, musty and vinegary flavors. Astigarragako Sagardoa, $10
This article originally appeared in the April issue of Playboy. Read more from our complete archives on iPlayboy.com.
Photography by Travis Rathbone
Prop styling by Sarah Guido for Halley Resources