Ok, before you ask, the name of this cider may be a teeny tiny bit misleading. No, no flamingos were harmed in the making of our newest cider, Flamingo Juice. That being said, we totally pulverized the sh*t out of some special apples for the base of this cider, and we think you’ll know why as soon as you get a glimpse of its awesome color. World, we give you Flamingo Juice.
So, let’s start at the beginning. Flamingo Juice is one of our newest cider varieties made from a combination of Otterson and crab apples. If the variety “Otterson” is not familiar to you, it’s no surprise! Otterson apples are a variety of red juiced apples that have been rediscovered and cultivated at Michigan State University (can I get a “GO GREEN”), by plant geneticist, Dr. Steve van Nocker and botanist Chris Gottschalk. Why cultivate this variety? To put it simply, Dr. van Nocker and Mr. Gottschalk have been seeking to find an apple with a high concentration of anthocyanins in the fruit’s flesh. Without getting too sciency, anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid. Beside making things red, anthocyanins are thought to have a positive impact on human health and in turn, many applications in the food and supplement industry. You can read more about the sciency stuff here.
So to make a long story even shorter, late last summer we were contacted by Dr. van Nocker and Mr. Gottschalk about pressing Otterson apples to use in an experimental cider. With the promise of an awesome color and fantastic flavor, we charged forward with pressing the apples and fermenting the cider. And thus, Flamingo Juice was born.
While we hope you’ve already had a chance to try Squishy, a dark red, semi-sweet hard cider we make from local, Northern Michigan cherries. We doubt you’ve seen a cider of this color made strictly from apples. Otterson apples are bred for the purpose of extracting the juice, priming them for cider making. They are acidic and have a tannin content that is beneficial for the production of cider. In addition to Otterson apples, Dr. van Nocker and team are working to develop new varieties of red juiced apples.
Flamingo Juice is a semi-dry hard cider made with red fleshed Otterson and crab apples. Try it on tap at our Starcut Ciders Celebration tomorrow, Saturday February 20th, at Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, MI.