Annandale Cider from Montgomery Place Orchards
The other night Dominique and I were at Swoon Kitchen Bar in Hudson, NY at the Summer Feast farm to table dinner. One of the offerings on hand was Annandale Cider from Montgomery Place Orchards. Hard cider is one of the signature drinks made in the Hudson Valley.
Montgomery Place Orchards celebrates its 25th year under the management of Doug and Talea Fincke in 2011. They follow a long line of tenants dating back to the 1700s, upon the same land purchased in 1802 by Janet Livingston Montgomery who expanded the existing orchards and created a commercial nursery. Though the historic estate's proprieters have changed, the orchards have always been a steadfast feature of the Hudson River property.
Before Prohibition, cider was America's drink. A ration for Revolutionary soldiers, a safe substitute for water along the Frontier, and even President Adams' breakfast drink, fermented apple juice was a cheap alternative to beer and a hardy crop before the cultivation of suitable grape varieties. It was also Johnny Appleseed's true mission- apples grown from seed are inedible, but make great cider. The apple, rebranded in the 1920s by the industry as a healthy snack in order to remain a legal enterprise, virtually lost its iconic status as America's alcoholic drink. Thankfully, the country is slowly rediscovering it.
Today, Annandale Cider is made at Montgomery Place Orchards, using over 60 varieties of antique and commercial apples grown on the same land that Janet Livingston cultivated apple trees upon 200 years ago. There are no preservatives, no sulfates, or no additives.
They are still a very small operation, producing 1000 gallons a year. Currently, you can find their cider at the Montgomery Place Orchards market, Luna 61 in Tivoli, GiGi's in Rhinebeck, and Swoon Restaurant in Hudson.
It was fabulous. Look for it! Another great Hudson Valley cider!