Downeast Cider glass and bottle behind a few sliced lemons. Background made of stacked Downeast Cider cans.

Seasonal Drinks: Hard Cider & Lemonade

Hard cider is one of the most popular drinks in the United States and its popularity is still on the rise. Production has tripled throughout the US since 2011. Hard lemonade has increased in popularity as well, with many brands adding it to their repertoire due to its crisp, bold flavor flavor. Hard cider and lemonade are drinks that have two distinct tastes. Both of which as perfect for the summer and fall seasons.


Hard cider has always been a favorite of New Englanders—John Adams was known to drink a tankard of cider daily. While hard cider has always been popular in New England, the business for it did not pick up until the national revival for hard cider in the 1980s. This was in part sparked by the availability of historic cider instructions, and the usability of old presses. By the 1990s, cider production had increased to the point that New England began hold cider festivals. Hard cider’s popularity is quickly growing alongside hard lemonade. Hard lemonade may not have the colonial roots of hard cider, but its popularity cannot be understated. Hard lemonade has changed its recipe of the years. But is currently popularly sold as malt liquor infused with lemonade flavors and carbonated water.


Whetstone Ciderworks- Marlboro, VT

Whetstone Cider is a company that began in 2010, and uses the complexity of their apple orchids to define the unique flavor of their cider. This distillery is located on a family farm with rich flavors in all of its fruits, which gives Whetstone Cider a bold taste. The company was founded in order to create a drinking experience that expresses the fruit, the soil, and the weather. The MacArthurs—the founders of Whetstone Cider—discovered that hard cider was the only way to unify the flavor of the orchids with the story of the Vermont land. Whetstone offers a variety of fantastic ciders including the Barnyard Blend. This blend is rustic, aromatic, and dry, while including hints of grapefruit and apple blossom.

Downeast Cider- Boston, MA

This local New England brand is located in Boston. Started by Brockman and Mosher in 2011, this new distillery grew in popularity so quickly that it had to expand. This growth also allowed the company to pursue spirits outside of cider, like hard lemonade. There are not many local New England distilleries that exclusively deal with hard lemonade, rather many hard cider distilleries opt to take on hard lemonade as an ambitious addition to their production. Hard lemonade offers a sweet experience than the classic cider does. Downeast Cider offers delicious cider infused with cinnamon and lavender, and refreshing light hard lemonade.

To learn more about hard cider and lemonades be sure to read our blog, or attend any of our educational spirit tastings at Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA. Our staff will use their expertise to help you find the drink to begin your sensory journey!

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