On Friday, June 12, Hudson’s Café Le Perche will be partnering with the Campaign for the New Hudson Area Library to offer a special night featuring exemplary American and French hard ciders. 5 hard ciders will be available along with 4 special entrée pairings. 10% of all sales benefit the Library. Advance dinner reservations are required. Hours are 5 pm until closing. Call the restaurant at 518.822.1850.
Somewhere at this very moment, a conversation about the nuances of special alcoholic beverages is taking place. Words like delicate, terroir, fermented, dry, and fragrant are all in use. The reviewer may be swirling the pale yellow liquid in a clear glass. If it’s sparkling, he or she may be holding a champagne flute by its stem. They may also be exclaiming about the alcohol content – high, or even higher than, fine wine.
Welcome to the nouveau–HOT world of hard ciders. According to a market-research report (IRI) cider is the fastest growing segment of the beer and malt beverage market with sales increasing 75 percent (yes, seventy-five per cent) in 2014. There are now restaurants and tasting rooms on both the East and West Coasts that ONLY serve hard cider. And in New York, where the state government has begun to offer financial support to cider producers, the increase in cidery licenses has passed 600% in the past year.
With such peaked interest in a beverage that was once the staple drink of a young America, Chef Robert Pecorino of Café Le Perche in Hudson, has created an evening of entrees paired with specially selected domestic and imported hard ciders as a benefit for the Campaign for the New Hudson Area Library. Selections include Doc’s Hard Cider (semi-dry and effervescent) – Gold Medal winner in the Hudson Valley Wine competition; Slyboro’s “Night Pasture” (subtly complex and dry with hints of spice and caramel) – sold out for the season but available at the Café for this event; Le Pere Jules – a cider from Normandy that uses 20 different apple varieties; Manoir du Kinkiz Cider made in Quimper, Brittany – a still cider said to achieve its most intense flavor when kept in caves – like fine red wine; Naked Flock with hints of champagne yeast and honey; and Nine Pin – so local that the majority of the apples are harvested at Samascott Orchard. (Cider maker Alejandro del Peral was born in Hudson and grew up in Ghent.)
The evening is part of Cider Week, a promotion of Hudson Valley ciders headed up by Glynwood Manor (www.Glynwood.org). “With so many truly legendary hard ciders now being produced in our region, this is a great opportunity for diners to come and taste and learn how well these beverages can work with different entrees,” said Chef Pecorino. “We’re always thrilled to work with the Library and help them in their fundraising efforts.” Co-incidentally, the origin of the Cider Project occurred with an Apple Exchange in 2010 that took place in Le Perche, France and the Hudson Valley. “It’s all come full circle,” Pecorino added.
Reservations for the evening are required. Call the restaurant at 518.822.1850.