October 18, 2018 | ° F

Get toasty with some steamy, sizzling apple cider


With the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having it’s been difficult to get into the autumnal spirit, which is unfortunate since fall is the best season ever. Summer gets all of the love, but it’s hard to ignore all of fall’s charms. Leaves changing, hayrides, apple picking, crushing stress from midterms, corn mazes, pie, Thanksgiving and APPLE CIDER.

Apple cider is better than apple juice because (usually) it is fresh and unfiltered, making it super apple-y (and also dangerous for infants and the elderly). As soon as October hits, I’m fantasizing daily about sitting in front of a warm fire with a mug of hot cider and some slippers, but this year global climate change is really killing my fall vibes. Now that it’s November (the best month), the temperature is finally dropping, making hot, apple cider and all things apple flavored much more appealing.

You might be wondering where in New Brunswick you can purchase some warm, apple cider goodness. Luckily, there are a couple places nearby that offer a variety of treats to keep you warm and happy. 

 Gerlanda’s in the Rutgers Student Center on College Avenue is my go-to for just about everything. Pizza? They’ve got the best in New Brunswick (in my less than humble opinion). Panini? Yup. Good coffee? They’ve got it. They also have a variety of creative, seasonal beverages to satiate your autumnal needs.

I tried the apple cider chai, which was delicious. Sometimes I find apple cider too sweet, but the addition of chai made it a little spicy and especially delicious. The cider is served hot with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top — how fancy. If you’re looking for something a little sweeter, give their caramel apple cider a try.

They also usually have apple cider doughnuts for sale. I tried one and it was perfect. Tender and perfect for dunking in whatever hot beverage you decide on. Who knew you could find such an abundance of autumnal spirit in a student center?

Thomas Sweet on 55 Easton Ave. sells homemade apple cider. It’s really good, especially if you’re looking for something simple and classic. If you’re looking for something a little different ask them to make you an apple cider float. I tried mine with vanilla ice cream, but chai or caramel would also be fantastic. The hot apple cider and cold ice cream made an interesting contrast. The ice cream melted into the cider, making it creamy and rich. The only downside was that the cider caused the ice cream to separate into an unappealing, lumpy mess. It still tasted delicious though, and I would definitely order it again.

Next door to the ice cream shop, in the chocolate store, Thomas Sweet has a lot of other goodies to get you in the fall mood. Leaf-shaped chocolates, caramel apples and even a cider-scented candle, which I considered buying.

I was immediately drawn to the caramel apple fudge. I’m a chocolate girl, but this fudge called to me with its golden color and river of caramel running through the center. I bought a quarter pound of it and was not disappointed. If I am not mistaken, there are actual chunks of apple in the fudge. These wonderful, little pieces of apple provided some textural contrast and a bit of tartness to offset the sweet, caramel fudge.

There’s really only one month left of fall until Christmas craziness sets in, so soak it up while you can. Ingest everything apple-flavored while apples are in season and delicious. Soon peppermint will be taking over, but until then, apple on.

Julia Terranova

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