Photos: European ciders at Vera

Despite her love of Basque and Normandy ciders, Vera's beverage director Liz Mendez doesn't recommend them to cider newbies.

"You would never take your friend out for sushi for the first time and have them try uni and roe," Mendez said. "You're going to give them tempura and California roll to ease them into it so they'll go out for sushi with you again." Yes, European ciders are the uni of the hard cider world—a delicacy for some but a bit, well, weird for the uninitiated.

As the category of cider continues to grow, though, more enthusiasts are looking for flavors beyond the sweet carbonation of Strongbow or Angry Orchard. That search leads them straight to European-style cider.

Be sure to read the rest of Kate Bernot's RedEye piece about European ciders.

Hilary Higgins/RedEye
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