Though drinking alcohol is not something that’s encouraged when doing paleo, there are those times when celebrations are going to be on the calendar. Sugar is the enemy, so when considering the bar, reflect on that. In the spirit category: choose potato vodka, artisanal gins, cachaças, and tequilas. Pair with fresh fruit (see our video featuring fresh fruit caipirinhas), sparkling mineral waters, herbal teas, slices of lemon or lime. Think about doing infusions into the spirits to add flavor without adding extra sugar. Tip: If you know you will be imbibing, spend the rest of the day eating lean proteins and veggies, avoiding fat and carbs.
Another idea: DRY CIDERS, which are grain-free and low in alcohol, and an upscale offering. Flatiron Wines & Spirits in NYC has a nice artisanal selection, so I started there and chose three that fell into the light and dry category. To get your brain on the right track for tasting, here’s some useful hints. First of all, forget about that uber-sweet apple cider you had on your last apple picking trek. These ciders are sophisticated, much more in the tart category, and reminded me more of beer than something fruity. Also, they look similar to white wine, but there is a level of yeast and sourness that puts them into a category all their own.
At first taste, I was not entranced, but as I kept sipping, they grew on me. I recommend drinking with food, for a nice balance. Here’s my thoughts on the three varieties:
2015 EZ Orchards Cidre Dry Grown in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, their orchards host a variety of heirloom cider apples from French and English bittersweets to American semi-sharps. I recommend this bottle for those who like drinking beer.Tasting Notes: The cider has a pleasant amber color, and a light, nice fizz. It leans to the sour end of the spectrum, and is quite dry, with a flat finish. If you want to read an in depth report on the cider, take a look at the beautiful photos and story at Good Beer Hunting. About $15. .ezorchards.com
2015 Sundstrom Cider Golden Russet Definitely my fave of the three. Produced with a single apple variety, grown upstate in Columbia County, New York, all apples are macerated for 30 hours before pressing into neutral oak barrels. Tasting Notes: A clear, bright yellow color, resembling a fine wine. I recommend those who enjoy Pinot Grigio will also like this. It had notes of pears, yeast, and was slightly perfume-y. About $26.99 sundstromcider.com
2015 Art+Science, West Valley Cider This bottle added 10% quince into the apple mix, and is made of foraged fruits from Willamina, Oregon. Would recommend pairing this with food: fish and veggies. Tasting Notes: The color on this one was a little cloudy, and yellow. It was very fizzy, funky, sour and bitter with a citrus leanings. About $15.99 artandsciencenw.com