Oysters & Cider Are Here to Stay

Oysters & Cider Are Here to Stay

Oyster season is here in the Pacific Northwest. Coincidentally (or not?), oyster season is in sync with the beginning of cider season. We declare this the best season of the year. 

Many know about the classic champagne and oyster pairing. Switching from this classic to traditional cider is a fun detour and also incredibly tasty. Let's explore why, how, and which oysters to pair with cider.


Why do these two make such a great pairing? 

Sparkling ciders have incredibly silky and pillowy bubbles, similar to champagne. Those tiny bubbles help amplify the creaminess of the oysters. Cider is also a great choice if you're looking for something bright and lower in alcohol. The lower alcohol not only lets you enjoy more of each, it also ensures the alcohol doesn't compete with the flavor of the oyster. 

There is also that hint of sweetness in many ciders. If a cider retains just a little bit of sugar, it plays nicely with the umami in the oyster: undercurrents of an individual oyster's character are more readily available to explore. It will also enhance the savory notes in a cider. 


Which Oysters do I pick with my cider?

Keep local if you can! If you're near a coast, scope out if there are any farms or local fishermen specializing in oysters. If you have direct access to the fisherman or farm, ask them if they have a favorite species to pair with cider: they likely have strong opinions.

In the PNW, keep an eye out for:

Olympia Oysters

These are the only species native to the West Coast. Moreover, they're one of Mark Twain and local food legend James Beards' favorites. Be like them; adventurous and full of delicious things.

Pacific Oysters

There are over 1,000 varieties to choose from. They are often low to medium in their salinity levels and boast grassy and fruity notes—a great complementary pairing.

Kumamoto Oysters

These fun babes are grown in WA and CA, with some of the best found on Puget Sound. If you're in the area, be sure to grab them while you can; they're a coveted oyster around here. Like Pacific oysters, they're low in salinity and an excellent starter oyster for those who are a bit shy around them.


How to eat oysters and cider

When pairing oysters with cider, be sure to use all your senses. Looking, touching, smelling, and even hearing help predict and magnify the experience. If you're able to, try to shuck the oysters yourself, savor the feeling of accomplishment, and really earn that cider. Also, take your time: this is a sacred moment.

Also, don't forget to add a mignonette! We have provided a classic recipe, but feel free to expand and play with it. We hear that adding some cider to the recipe can make it especially profound!


Classic Mignonette Recipe

(Oyster glaze to accompany your pairing)

  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp finely minced shallot
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS: Stir together in a shallow bowl. Drizzle generously over oysters. This recipe is good for 12 oysters.

Bon appétit!

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