I’m in love.

With a city.

I’ve spent two long weekends in Burlington, VT over the past six months as a group leader for a new class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners and I am obsessed

Just a page from a story book in Burlington. In real life. NBD.

Just a page from a story book in Burlington. In real life. NBD.

First of all. There are dogs EVERYWHERE. While I was busy texting and walking, telling Rob that ‘this city is where all the cool dogs come’, I looked up to see nothing other than a chocolate lab puppy playing with some mixed breed of some kind right at my feet. THIS IS HEAVEN. When driving to dinner one night, I saw a woman on the side of the road with her dog. Her little, wire-haired, pug looking thing. I literally shouted out of my car window at a light, ‘YOUR DOG IS REALLY CUTE!’. Immediately after I did this, I realized I look like psychopath, and thought maybe I had just made a mistake. NOT IN BURLINGTON! She looked up, with a huge smile, and said “Oh my gosh THANK YOU!”

Second – the food. OMG the food. From steaks, to tacos (so many tacos), to the farmers market…there’s so much culinary exploring to do. It seems like everything is local, fresh, and made with care. Seriously, though. I’ll be putting together my list of ‘must eats’ in Burlington very shortly. For now, let’s focus on cider.

Citizen Cider was introduced to me last time I ventured north. It’s one of the best, most solid, creative, cider companies I’ve come across. Only about 5 years in operation, they’re doing extremely cool things. Like sour ciders fermented with lactobacillus, something we often see in the craft beer world, but I’ve never seen before in cider.

If you’ve discounted ciders at this point in your life, you’re making a mistake. Many of us associate cider with super-sweet, jolly-rancher like, booze fruit juice. Not anymore. Cider makers are creating something for every palate these days, from super dry, to rose (BROse is one of the Citizen selections, which I find utterly hilarious), to dry hopped, sour, or made with champagne yeast. If you’ve given up on them, it’s time to open your eyes to the wide horizon that is the cider world.


Today’s cocktail is inspired by Vermont and my love affair with the states favorite cider. It’s a play on the old fashioned, mixing some sweetness, with the smokiness of whiskey, and removing the huge pain in the ass steps that make the old fashioned a real bitch. When I was in bartending school – yes, it’s a thing, and I went to it – we learned how to make one and were told, ‘this drink is a pain in the ass, but learn how to make it because one day, someone is going to order it and you don’t want to look like a jackass’. Low and behold, my first night alone behind the bar, someone ordered one. No one ever did again. That was back in 2008. These days, classic cocktails are having a resurgence. Made with small batch, craft liquors and always with a little twist.

I’m using Citizen Cider Unified Press. It’s mostly dry, but slightly sweet (You need a little bit of sweetness. The classic cocktail includes a sugar cube…which we’re skipping). I’m also using Urban Moonshine Maple bitters. These you would actually find in the health/supplement section of your grocery store as they’re most often used for digestive aid. They’re also great to use in cocktails…because maple. The only part of this cocktail NOT from Vermont is the Whiskey. That’s only because I didn’t have any VT whiskey at the house. What I did have, is Berkshire Mountain Distillers New England Bourbon Whiskey. An Old Fashioned isn’t traditionally made with Bourbon, but this particular kind offers notes of caramel, spicy rye, and vanilla, which is perfect with the maple and apple cider notes. So I’m using it.


So here’s to Vermont. See you in the fall.

Hard Cider Old Fashioned
Serves 2
A refreshing, Vermont inspired twist on the old classic. This recipe is for 2 cocktails, because Citizen Cider Unified Press comes in a 16 oz can and each cocktail requires 8 oz. Boom.
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Total Time
1 min
Total Time
1 min
  1. 3 oz Whiskey (I'm using Berkshire Distillers Bourbon Whiskey, but use whatever you want)
  2. 2 droppers full of Maple Bitters (I'm using Urban Moonshine)
  3. 16 oz Citizen Cider Unified Press Cider (You want a somewhat dry, crisp cider)
  4. Ice
  1. Put some ice in each glass. I prefer a thick bottom, short tumbler. A traditional Old Fashioned glass.
  2. Now add the 1 1/2 oz whiskey and a dropper of bitters to each glass. Give them a stir for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Top with the cider, give another quick stir.
  4. Enjoy.
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