It isn’t exactly breaking news that rosé is having a (years-long) moment. At this point, the pink-hued wine trend has touched a variety of categories across the food and beverage space: We’ve seen everything from gourmet gummies to doughnuts, gin, tequila, and even a vodka blend.
Recently, the warm-weather wine sparked yet another trend: rosé cider. Rosé ciders have been circulating for several years on a smaller scale, beginning with smaller-batch, regionally sold bottles and cans. If you’ve been seeing rosé cider everywhere recently, the latest buzz is thanks to bigger mainstream brands like Angry Orchard rolling out their own takes on the boozy drink. To find out more about the latest iteration of the rosé trend, we spoke with Michelle McGrath, Executive Director of the U.S. Association of Cider Makers. Ahead, McGrath breaks down the blush-hued beverage. She explains everything from what sets the cider apart from its wine counterpart to the different varieties on the market, and how the new trend started in the first place.
What is rosé cider? “There are two main categories of cider: “1. Heritage ciders are made with apples that are specifically grown for making cider. They are generally not great for eating, they’re expensive, they have tannins, and a complexity that is similar to a wine grape. “2. Modern ciders are made with dessert apples (such as honey crisp, red delicious, galas, etc.) They are more akin to a concord grape, so will still taste refreshing, but won’t have tannins and a complexity to their flavor.