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The Sixth Annual Washington Cider Week commences Sept. 8 and kicks off 10 days of cider fun, with 30+ events to choose from. It would be completely understandable to take the entire week off so as to fully indulge, however many of us will have to pick and choose. Thankfully, we’ve done some of the legwork for you.

Here are some of the most exciting and interesting events to place at the top of your list:

Thursday 9/8: One Offs and Spin Offs
Kick off WA Cider Week with exclusive, limited and specialty ciders from Washington cideries including Snowdrift Cider, Honey Moon Mead & Cider, Greenwood Cider Co., Whitewood Cider, Finnriver Cider, Liberty Ciderworks, and others. 4 p.m. at Capitol Cider.

Starting Monday, 9/12: Cider-centric Happy Hours
Choose from five mini chef’s plates, each incorporating a different cider, for $5 and pair it with a can of cider for $3. At Friday’s Bivalves and Booze Happy Hour, enjoy $2 oysters with a cider mignonette and $5 Cider 75 cocktails. 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Mon.-Fri. at Capitol Cider.

➢ Can’t make happy hour? They’re also serving up a prix fixe dinner option including dishes like ginger cider glazed chicken with corn pudding and a locally-sourced berry cobbler with iced cider whipped cream!

Thursday 9/15: Graf’fest
Are you a beer fan cautiously dipping your big toe into cider? Try the latest beer-cider hybrids at Graf’fest. Taste graff collaborations from Seapine Brewing Co., Seattle Cider Co., Alpenfire Organic Hard Cider, Whitewood Cider, Three Magnets and more. 4 p.m. at Capitol Cider.

If events aren’t in the cards this year, celebrate at home and soak up the final days of summer with this cider-based BBQ sauce recipe, courtesy of Capitol Cider’s Food & Beverage Director Sara Harvey.

“This sauce is very similar to what we use in our West-Coast Famous BBQ Chicken Thighs. It’s a sticky sweet sauce that also goes well with pork chops and apricots and so much more,” said Harvey. “I dip everything in this sauce at home: salt and vinegar potato chips, blistered snap peas from the garden, or even pieces of grilled pineapple are wonderful with some fresh cilantro and a little bit of this stuff.”

Well, call us intrigued.

West-Coast BBQ Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-sized sweet onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups prepared ketchup – Hunts (regular AND organic) is HFCS-free and Sara’s go-to at home
2 cups hard apple cider – Strongbow or Blackthorne are both great English-style ciders, but anything not too sweet (like Angry Orchard) or too dry (like a champagne-style) work well. If you have an open bottle in the fridge going stale, this is exactly what you have been waiting for!
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses (Blackstrap is Sara’s favorite)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, raw and unfiltered if available
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, plain or sweet
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
5 each dry Ancho, Mullato or other medium heat chilies

To Prepare:
Sweat garlic and onions until soft in olive oil. (Note: don’t waste your extra virgin stuff in a hot pan; use regular old olive oil. The smoke point is higher and the flavor is milder). Add hard cider, and reduce by half. Add everything else and simmer over medium low heat for 1-2 hours. Blend, and then check for salt and acidity. Re-season accordingly and cool down. Stores for a month or so in the fridge, or freeze as a marinade.


Photo by Jackie Donnelly of Spice & Ink shot for Savor Seattle Food Tours.