This cider has nothing to do with the Democratic candidate who really dislikes Hillary Clinton; Ms. Gabbard just happens to share a name with an aromatic perennial commonly used in Indian and Southeast Asian cooking. Alas, “Ocimum tenuiflorum” would make for a better black metal or tech death band name, so instead we have Citizen Cider’s Tulsi, a pressed apple cider with a very unique ingredient: holy basil. Both the cider and the holy basil (harvested in the summertime from Hallow Herb Farm) are local to Bulington, ensuring that the herbs are introduced to the cider when fresh and allowing Citizen Cider to control the balance between flavors.
Tulsi is not as weird as you would expect – the holy basil is steeped in the dry cider base prior to fermentation, so the effect is muted, with just a hint of the herb in the cider. The base is a nicely dry and lightly sweet pale cider and you don’t really experience the holy basil until you take a swig and hold it in your mouth. That’s where you notice that Tulsi most closely resembles a brut champagne, where the dryness can be tasted on your tongue. It’s also where the spiciness of the holy basil is perceptible, both on the tip of the tongue and back of palette. More basil flavor, perhaps introduced during fermentation, would likely yield something that was completely undrinkable, so hats off to Citizen Cider for producing something that suits all tastes.
For more info, check out Citizen Cider here.