In late January, I found myself standing  in the grocery store aisle, staring wistfully at the dried apricots.  Oh, summer fruits, how I miss thee!  Peaches, plums, nectarines: a dream of July-past.

Thankfully, I remembered that our Cider Partner of the Month in February is Mission Trail.  And I swooned, just a little.  Mission Trail’s jerkums are sunshine in my dreary Seattle day.  I then asked Jon Chambers, our Beverage Manager at Capitol Cider to tell us a little about Mission Trail.

“We here at Cider obviously love our apples, and we’re not opposed to the occasional fruit addition here or there as well, but the idea of entire beverages made from the likes of plums, apricots, and nectarines can be a bit of a head turner. 

Enter Mission Trail.

Raised in wine country, it would make sense that brothers Victor and Monte Jones would one day return to their roots: orchards and vineyards and a plan to produce beverages.  Homesteading in Bradley, California on an actual “mission trail” in south Monterey County, their orchards are just down the way from the historic Mission San Antonio.   Surrounded by wine producers from birth, it only stood to reason that the brothers would adapt these techniques and ideals, and set about crafting beverages from the fruit they had been growing.

If Cider is for the apples, then Jerkum is for their stone-ridden brethren.  Originally, “jerkum” described a tart and heady plum wine made in the Worcester area of England that would often be mixed with cider.  Mission Trail has adopted this term for stone fruit products, and have done it justice.  Their main Jerkum line comes from an impressive 14 varietals of red flesh plums.  Lucky for us, they also revel in other oddities such as nectarines, peaches, white flesh plums, and pluots. 

For the cider-lovers amongst us, they also make ciders from 29 different  estate-grown Heirloom varietals, plus perry from native high mountain California pears.  Like many of our Cider Partners, each bottle they create is vintaged.  Once you see and taste the fruits of Mission Trail, you can see why it’s hard to keep these in stock.”

On Tap

 We’ll have 5 kegs of Mission Trail tapped tonight, February 8th.  We can’t guarantee that the kegs will last, but we are featuring a Mission Trail flight all month long.  Bottles are available, too!

Ciruela-Blanca (White Plum Jerkum fermented with lime and agave)
Goldmine (Nectarine Jerkum aged in French oak barrels)
Santa Lucia Black (Pluot Jerkum aged on black currants)