Botanical Cider (formerly known as Spiced Cider or Spice, Herb, and Vegetable Cider) includes ciders with any combination of culinary spices, herbs, and vegetables. Allowable ingredients include nuts (anything with ‘nut’ in the name, including coconut), chili peppers, coffee, chocolate, spruce tips, rose hips, hibiscus, fruit peels/zest (but not juice), and the like. It does not include culinary fruit or grains. Flavorful fermentable sugars and syrups (agave nectar, maple syrup, molasses, sorghum, treacle, honey, etc.) can be included only in combination with other allowable ingredients, and should not have a dominant character.
The cider character must be present and must fit with the spices, herbs, and/or vegetables. As with a Fruit Cider, it is a fault if the added ingredients dominate; a judge might ask, “Would this be different if neutral spirits replaced the cider?” Oxidation of either the base cider or the additions is a fault.
Clear to brilliant. Color appropriate to added ingredients.
Average or more. Cider may be tannic from effect of added ingredients but must not be bitter from over-extraction.
Like a white wine with complex flavors. The apple character must marry with the added ingredients and give a balanced result.
Entrants MUST specify carbonation level (3 levels). Entrants MUST specify sweetness (4 levels). Entrants MUST specify all added ingredients.
OG: 1.045 – 1.070 FG: 0.995 – 1.010 ABV: 5 – 9%