of Valet.
The Season for

Hard Cider

With roots in Great Britain, hard cider has had a long history in America. It was the drink of choice for our founding fathers. In fact, back in colonial times, the stuff was drank more regularly than water. But after Prohibition and a disastrous frost in the 1930s, bittersweet cider apples became the stuff of abandoned orchards and beer eventually rose to prominence. But cider is the ultimate fall drink. And thankfully, it's currently enjoying a renaissance in America, stoked by venturesome cider-makers that are blending craft-beer ingenuity with old world tradition. Herewith, four recent favorites after a lengthy taste test.

Four to Try
Farnum Hill
From New Hampshire

This semi-dry cider has a subtle balance of sweetness, with the tart acidity of biting into a fresh apple's skin.

$14, at Bauer Wines

Downeast Cider House
From Maine

An unfiltered cider pressed from four local apple varieties, it's fermented with ale yeast, giving it a smooth heftiness.

$9, for four; available in Maine and Massachusetts

Angry Orchard
From Ohio

An amber-hued cider with an aromatic burst of sweetness and a crisp finish from the makers of Samuel Adams.

$9, for six at BevMo

Crispin Brownslane
From England

An effervescent traditional British-style dry cider, pressed from English-grown cider apples, with an earthy tang.

$10, for four at BevMo

    Eight ounces of hard cider has the same amount of potent phenolics and heart healthy antioxidants as a glass of red wine.