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Red, White and BOOZE

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You heard it right, celiacs and gluten-allergic people can't drink beer. Beer is made from a wheat base; a big problem for the gluten-free crowd. What is a person to do? There are some select gluten-free beers on the market, often very light in taste, but I am here to let you in on a secret: hard cider.

All hard ciders are naturally gluten free. I repeat. ALL hard ciders are NATURALLY gluten free. With no risk of cross contamination, it is a no-brainer that hard cider is always my drink of choice. There are plenty of varieties to choose from--light or dark, crisp or heavy, sour or sweet--add it to your 4th of July grocery list.

I want to share with you my all-time favorite brand of hard cider: J.K.'s Scrumpy: Farmhouse Organic Orchard Old Gate. J.K.'s Scrumpy is a USDA Organic Michigan Farmhouse Cider--somewhere between English Scrumpy and a Normandy Cider. There are only two ingredients in this delicious bottle: apple juice and yeast. J.K.'s presses their organic apples and let them ferment for up to six months. They individually fill and label each bottle with TLC and let the aging process continue for several weeks. This ensures that the flavor is pristine before it hits the shelves and your lips. J.K.'s offers two other variations: J.K.'s Northern Neighbor Farmhouse Cider and J.K.'s Winterruption Farmhouse Cider. I can't say I have tried their other flavors, but the 'Farmhouse Organic Orchard Old Gate' is hands down my favorite. This particular cider is very sweet and tastes like adult apple juice--seriously. There is little, if at all, a trace of alcohol taste to it.

Coming in a close second, is a hard cider company called Crispin. They carry many different products. Recently, I tried the 'Crispin Original' at Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (If you have never been to the Roadhouse, and you are around the Ann Arbor area, be sure to add it to your list of places to eat it. The staff prides itself in taking care of their customers and they are very accommodating to those with gluten-allergies. They have a special fryer dedicated to the gluten-allergic--their sweet potato fries are to die for!). This particular hard cider was lighter in taste in comparison to J.K.'s and it does have more of an alcohol kick to it. It was still enjoyable and complimented my meal nicely. It is crisp and classic.

There are many gluten-free beers out there, but why not try something out of the ordinary? Drinking hard cider is like biting into your favorite apple--crisp and refreshing.

When you are out grocery shopping for the 4th, put some hard cider in your cart. You won't regret it.

Yours in 'red, white and booze,'

Jane

 

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