J.K. Scrumpy’s Hard Cider
Where Spotted: Whole Foods, 1440 P St. NW
Price: $6/22 oz. bottle
Rad Apple: It’s even simpler than beer—nothing but apple juice and yeast—but a good cider has all the complexities of an heirloom apple, intensified by fermentation. I tried this alongside two other commercially available ciders, and it was the faraway favorite, with rich, puckery juice flavors and a faint tartness that hints at cider vinegar. While bigger-name 6-pack ciders are fine for all-nighters, this is a cider to be savored in stemware.
core values: For a tasty beverage, Scrumpy’s could have chosen a better name—in the U.K. and Australia, “scrumpy” is a generic term for cheap, boozy cider. Often it comes in 2-liter plastic soda bottles, complete with a logo uglier than RC Cola’s and a price tag to rival Mad Dog. But it’s proof that the Brits are classier—their hobos at least pretend to drink their fruits and veggies; ours favor Steel Reserve. —Orr Shtuhl