The popularity of Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery’s Loon Juice hard cider means the company was able to recently construct a 14,000-square-foot cider facility — possibly the largest in the Midwest, according to the winery — and craft three new Loon Juice flavors.
Not bad for a hard cider made from Honeycrisp apples, a product of University of Minnesota research that has recently become one of the most sought after variety of apples.
Beginning this month, Loon Juice will be available on store shelves in three new flavors: Strawberry Shandy, Tea Time, and Ginger Mojito. They’ll be sold in 12- and 24-can variety packs, or six-packs in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas.
Those who can’t wait for cans or are skeptical about the new flavors can visit Four Daughters on Saturday for a release party featuring tastings of the new cider flavors and two free tours of the new cidery.
The original hard cider from Four Daughters began distribution in 2014, quickly gaining popularity thanks to its traditional take on cider (no extra sugars added for fermentation). Both sweet and tart, but not overbearingly so, Loon Juice perfectly mimics a fresh Honeycrisp apple.
Combining Honeycrisp with black tea from China, Tea Time is described as refreshing and simple, with the tea providing a nice earthiness side to the apple’s sweet and tart flavor.
Expect all the staples of a Mojito in this one (with an apple twist): key lime, natural ginger and a dash of mint.
Nothing says summer like a shandy by the lakeside, and Loon Juice’s take on it means a fusion of sweet strawberry, tart apple and refreshing lemonade. It will challenge your taste buds with each sip, but in a good way.
If you go
What Four Daughters Cidery Tours
When 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 18 (tours at noon and 5 p.m.)
Where Four Daughters, 78757 Highway 16, Spring Valley