Downeast Cider Gets Real & Summer-y with Versatile Sauce


When an alcoholic beverage company’s website asks for your birthday, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? “Even if I wasn’t 21, I could lie.” Am I right?

I’m sure there’s scientific evidence quantifying that one page’s ability to deter thousands of youngsters, but let’s get real – Downeast Cider does. They smack page viewers with a truth nugget at first visit, and take the opportunity to school Deflategate doofus Roger Goodell too – just ‘cause. Thank you Downeast Cider House for a good chuckle.

The first page…

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Choosing NO results in a video of Adam Sandler as Billy Madison, screaming, “you blew it!” Hilarious by itself, but even better when you sample the other option.

If you choose YES there’s one last test that all of us New England Patriots and Tom Brady fans will appreciate…

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Thankfully I am not the commissioner of the NFL, but couldn’t resist pressing the YES button; up pops a Wikipedia page for the Ideal gas law. Nice work, Downeast Cider House. Visit to check out the site and learn more about the cider.

I was inspired by the local company’s transformation of something logistical into relevant comedy. Today’s recipe uses the sweet acidity and bright apple flavor of Downeast Cider’s Original Blend, a taste that’s commonly associated with Fall, and turns it into something Summer-y.

Downeast Cider and Red Chile Sauce

6 dry chiles de arbol
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ yellow onion, sliced thin
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch strips
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup hard cider

Place the dried chiles into a bowl or large mug and pour 2 cups boiling water over them. Let them rehydrate for 20 minutes, stirring them after 10 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat then add the onions. Saute the onions for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the red bell pepper pieces and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the vegetables take on slightly brown edges.

Meanwhile, combine the garlic and all spices together and sprinkle them into the pan all at once. Stir the spice mixture into the vegetables for 30 seconds before pouring in the hard cider. Bring the cider to a boil for 3 minutes then transfer the ingredients to a blender. Puree until very smooth.

Serve warm on tacos, at room temperature with tortilla chips (below); use as a marinade, or a sauce (above) for mild proteins like pork chicken, or shrimp.


Downeast Cider House is located at 200 Terminal Street, Charlestown, 857-301-8881.