Press apples and you get sweet cider. Add yeast, and you’ll make marvelously complex hard cider, an elegant beverage undergoing a ground-up renaissance with farmers and producers working together to create place-based ferments that rival anything derived from a grapevine. Consider it a return to form for a country where cider was once king, so societally ingrained that low-alcohol versions were served to kids. Apple-rich New York State has seen a surge in cider makers, with more than 75 manufacturers and growing.
Though pioneering cider restaurant Wassail has closed, the city is increasingly home to a collection of restaurants and bars with a serious cider emphasis, the best of them offering a deep and diverse selection, fine accompanying food, and memorable settings and service. For New York magazine, I discover the absolute best places to drink cider in New York City.