Definitely Not a Candy Apple

Apples are autumny and habaneros are scary – perfect!

Habanero Cider

Brewed by Finnriver Ciderworks (Olympic Peninsula, USA)


Habaneros are wonderfully mean little peppers with the curious property of tasting very fruity. I like to use them in infusions, especially rum* and vodka, and the smell is a lot like that of a peach or mango – until you pound some back and your eyes start watering. I’m also an avid cider drinker. So when I spotted this bottle, I knew I had to have it.

Kyle joins me on this one, but there’s not much to say: it’s good craft cider with a spicy kick. I like hot food, especially Indian, and it was safely on the near side of the pain threshold for me. The fruits pair up really well, but the sweetness isn’t overwhelming or sugary – just the natural amount for apples. It’s also not got that gross plasticky taste a lot of commercial ciders are prone to. You wouldn’t drink it by the pint, but it’s innovative and different and worth picking up if you’re into this sort of thing.

*Story time: I once left a mickey of chili pepper-laced rum on the counter of my house, having made it as a sort of experiment and found it to be the kind of thing you could aerosolize to fend off a mugger; I planned to get rid of it but forgot.

My roommates were having a party one night. I didn’t feel like attending, so I hid out at my boyfriend’s place. When I came home in the morning, I found the bottle was ominously empty. My roommates confessed that, toward the end of the night when the booze was starting to run low, someone asked if they could drink the Rum of Doom.

When they learned how it had been, um, altered, they insisted.

Apparently large strong men were found crying in the bathroom, mostly because men who want to be seen as large and strong are among the likeliest to drink something on a dare. Meanwhile, I take an obscure pride in being the only person I know who has weaponized Captain Morgan.

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