Hard apple cider. Apple wine. Apple mead. Apple brandy. Apple vodka. Who knew apples could be so fun? Fifth-generation farmer Mike Beck of Uncle John’s Fruit House Winery makes good use of his apples.
Beyond your typical apple pie, apple cider and apple donuts, Mike also produces apple wine, apple brandy, hard apple cider, barrel bourbon cider and cyser. Mike’s barrel bourbon cider is a dry-style cider that ages in a bourbon barrel. His cyser is a blend of apple wine and Michigan honey. He’s also the first in the state to produce apple vodka, which is not just flavored vodka, but actually handcrafted from the apples.
“You’ll taste nice, subtle fruit notes,” says Mike in regard to his vodka.
Black Star Farms of Suttons Bay and Old Mission Peninsula makes apple brandy called, Spirit of the Apple. Handcrafted just as it was in the Colonial tradition of the Revolution, the brandy is a blend of the apple varieties Jonagold, Jonathon, Winesap, Rhode Island Greening, Spy and McIntosh. The delicious blend is distilled and then barrel-aged for three to five years, resulting in an artisan brandy that is fruit-forward to express the region’s apple bounty.
In Jackson, Sandhill Crane Vineyards crafts an Heirloom Apple wine and apple mead, both of which owner Heather Price recommends for mulling. Mulled wine is warmed and complemented with spices, such as cinnamon, light cloves and orange zest. It’s a great beverage for the holiday season.
Warm, chilled or room temperature, these apple products represent the essence of Michigan’s vibrant autumn flavors.
More about Michigan apples from Absolute Michigan!