So after a pretty rough week at work (okay it’s technically only Wednesday but it’s been a REALLY rough week) it is safe to say that I’m already looking forward to going home tonight an enjoying an adult beverage. Or two. Maybe three. During my BCD (before celiac disease) days, I never gave much thought to going out with friends and ordering a drink. However, thanks to Mr. Gluten, I had to do a little extra thinking, read a few (okay tons) of labels, and ask the bartenders way too many questions for their liking. When I was first diagnosed, the gluten-free world was a little narrower, less defined, and definitely less user-friendly. My go-to drink had always been a half and half (Guinness/Harp for those not familiar with lager) but suddenly it was no longer an option. I was never a big mixed drink kind of girl so needless to say I was a bit frustrated. Thanks to some awesome friends, I was introduced to the world of gluten free beer. I don’t want to sound too judgmental here, but let’s just say it was a world I wasn’t too crazy about. New Grist, Bards, and Redbridge were the three that were most readily available and they just weren’t doing it for me. Now I wouldn’t say that they were bad, in fact, I would occasionally pick up a six pack. They just weren’t for me. (Though Redbridge is a surprisingly good lager, but again, you have to like lagers to appreciate this!) I know, what you’re thinking. Yeah there are plenty of delicious fruity drinks mixed drinks that I could try, and I did. Most were fabulous just like me, but let’s face it, I’m a Midwestern girl. Holding a vodka soda during a football game just won’t do! Oddly enough, Irish pubs though were always a great option for finding a suitable substitute- cider! I’m not talking about the apple cider you drank as a kid. I’m talking about the grown up version- hard apple cider.
Over the past two years, I have noticed an increase in different brands on the market. It has become my go-to-drink when I’m out with friends since most places have at least one cider on their drink list. Woodchuck is one of my favorites. There are PLENTY of different flavors to choose from, including raspberry and pear. Of course they also make seasonal blends and, since its fall, PUMPKIN! I know it sounds *interesting* but it’s actually pretty tasty. Another fabulous brand is Angry Orchard. They also have different flavors including crisp apple, traditional dry, green apple, and apple ginger. Likewise, they have seasonal blends too! So this fall, if Woodchuck’s pumpkin doesn’t do it for ya, try Angry Orchard’s Cinnful Apple!
In case you’re wondering, this weekend while I’m cheering on my Chicago Bears, I’ll be enjoying my favorite cider- Angry Orchard Crisp Apple. Yum! Bottoms up!