Liquid Alchemy, which opened last year, is best known for its craft mead, the oldest alcoholic beverage on record that Ancient Greeks believed to be the drink of the Gods. But partners Jeffrey Cheskin and Terri Sorantino had an ace in their sleeves when they hired Ryan Rice, aka Cider Ryan, who became the brains behind Liquid Alchemy’s hard cider creations. Rice learned his cider-making skills as an instructor at the North American Bushcraft School, a primitive skills school in Hedgeville, W.Va. He was an instructor of natural dyes, and then learned how to make mead and ciders. “I learned the bare-bones method,” says Rice, who then brought his skills back to Delaware and even taught local cider-making classes.
Liquid Alchemy released its first cider—The Dark Cide(r)—in October. It’s made with pure apple juice from Fifer Orchards, dark brown sugars and local honey. The Light Cide(r), which is lighter in color but equally refreshing—came out on April 1.
But Rice didn’t stop at just two cider creations. He’s been working on a new flavored hard cider that Liquid Alchemy will introduce starting at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 5, at its Cider de Mayo event. Deeply Rooted, made with sarsaparilla, birch bark and vanilla bean, will be served in Liquid Alchemy’s traditional five-ounce glasses for $8 (and customers can take their glass home). All other ciders will be $5.
Creating Deeply Rooted only lit a fire in Rice, who is already developing another flavored cider for summer. “I am working on something with pineapple,” he says with a smile.
Cider de Mayo at Liquid Alchemy
Hours: Friday, 2:30–9 p.m.; Saturday, noon–9 p.m.; Sunday, noon–5 p.m.
28 Brookside Drive, Wilmington