As much as I’d like to make and sell our cider all year long with equal fervor, it is undoubtedly a seasonal product. That said, we do get plenty of diehards who buy our cider no matter what the temperature is, but for most folks, demand drops off around the beginning of March. In many parts of the U.S. (including Vermont) cold, snowy conditions will continue to drag on for a month or two, but it’s this time of year that people get sick of winter, and the nostalgic appeal of hot spiced cider gets replaced by the deep desire for frosty lemonade and backyard barbeques.
So what do we do when the phones aren’t ringing and the cider mill is idle? Sleep mostly! Ok, maybe not. The cider season is usually very busy for us, which means that administrative items get pushed off until the spring. It takes a lot of work and planning to get ready for the fall. As a taste of what goes into it: Over the next few months we will attend trade shows in Baltimore, Seattle, and Denver. We will do machine maintenance, yearly food safety training, and have our food safety audit. We will do sales forecasting for the next season and work with our suppliers to ensure we can get the adequate inventory. We will think of fun new marketing and sales plans to get people excited about the upcoming season. We will reach out to our distributors and customers to see how we can improve our product. Lastly, we will take a little time off to enjoy all the wonders of Vermont in the summer.
Before I daydream too much about camping at the Chittenden dam, it is only March, and there’s still time for some spring skiing. With that in mind, let me leave you with one more delicious hot cider recipe before the snows melt for good.
1 oz. Spiced Apple Cider Concentrate
1 oz. Ginger brandy
6 oz. Hot water