Of Raspberries and Rose Petals...
By: Bradley Herbert
As the seasons change, so too do the ciders. And with springtime here, Two Thorns can’t be far behind! But how do you capture something as light and delicate as the scent of a rose petal? For some, it might seem to be a lofty goal like catching springtime in a jar or putting sunshine in your pocket. But for us, it’s just another day in the office….
“I was dying for an excuse to try a blend of rose and raspberry,” said Dave Takush, Head Cider Maker at 2 Towns, “and our partnership with the Portland Thorns was the perfect opportunity to bring this exciting experiment to life.” Tart and floral, Two Thorns is a blend of fresh-pressed Northwest apples, raspberries, and Damask rose petals. This makes for a deliciously fragrant cider with a vibrant red hue. “The floral scent of the rose petals enhance the flavor of the raspberries, and vice versa,” says Dave; and the people seem to agree! This cider has received more than a few awards in its day, notably taking home a Double Gold medal in the 2019 Seattle Cider Awards and the Judge’s Pick award at the 2019 SIP Northwest: Best of the Northwest!
Originally, Two Thorns was made as a collaborative project between 2 Towns and the Portland Thorns NWSL team and was exclusively offered in the Portland area. With an incredible floral bouquet, it was like drinking roses… Just, without all the thorns and chewy bits mixed in. Lots of folks had tried this silky-smooth cider in Providence Park and wanted to bring a bit of that raspberry sunshine home with them and they searched for it in their local markets to no avail. Here at 2 Towns, our mission has always been to bring cider back to the people – so we brought Two Thorns to the people! It’s been four years now, and this rosy-red beverage has become our officially-unofficial notice that Spring has arrived!
This is the perfect cider for a relaxing afternoon hike (have you tried walking without a beverage before? Yikes!), a floral refreshment while tending to the garden (smell the roses! Taste the roses!), and makes for a delightfully delicate dinner guest (this one’s just true, and we ran out of funny quips). Being one of our lighter beverages; the body maintains a beautiful tartness from the raspberries, and holds a faint kiss of floral flavor from the Damask rose petals.
When pairing, we recommend sticking to complimentary flavors that won’t be overbearing. Two Thorns pairs perfectly with milk chocolate, flame-grilled chicken, or a fresh chopped salad with berries and balsamic vinaigrette. For the more daring of you out there, however, this cider can manage all sorts of flavor! “It always makes me feel like having a barbeque,” says Tim Ware, our very own Taphouse Associate, “I’ve used Two Thorns with a blend of brown sugar and Worcestershire to mist over pork ribs, and they were excellent!”
Want to embark on an adventure in flavor? If you have 10 to 15 minutes to make an evening out of it, we recommend pairing Two Thorns with whipped thyme chevre on a slice of toasted baguette topped with pomegranate seeds. Light and creamy with a hint of earthy chopped thyme, whipped chevre is a perfect complement to this crisp and tart cider with just a hint of floral feeling at its head. Additionally, the pomegranate seeds add a burst of sweet juice while you bite into that warm, crispy bread. You’ll be bringing your senses on a floral, flavorful adventure all evening with this one. This crostini is a savory, sweet, and tangy treat that matches the tart and rosy flavors of Two Thorns in a combination you’re sure to love! Just be careful about sharing it with friends; the whole batch of them might disappear before you’ve had a chance to open your cider.
So how did we capture the scent of a rose, the feeling of sunshine, and sprinkle in a smidge of Spring? The trick is time, care, and real ingredients. We begin with fresh-pressed Northwest apples and raspberries to make a sweet and tart hard cider. Then Damask rose petals are added to lend their floral fragrance and make it something exceptional. You may simply smell rose petal, but it comes with a whole host of scents like floral rose musk, rose absolute, and rose petal, along with traces of jasmine, sandalwood, and patchouli – all combined with the sweet and sharp flavors of Northwest apples and raspberry to give us Two Thorns!
Making hard cider right is obviously important to us here at 2 Towns, and we are always trying to bring new and innovative beverages to you. Two Thorns is a testament to that gentle care and reverent love that we try to bring to all our craft ciders. We love this one especially, and we hope you will too. So grab a Two Thorns and toast with us to Spring, sunshine, and the scent of rose petals.