Newtown Twist: Collab with Stowe Cider

Vermont staple Stowe Cider partners with digital cider guide CiderScene to create Newtown Twist

We are excited to announce a new collaborative cider crafted by Stowe Cider and CiderScene. Newtown Twist is an ode to a classic apple-forward cider with a twist of lemon and lime for a more modern appeal.

Newtown Twist is made from a base of Newtown Pippin apples and is delicately blended with lime and lemon zest for enhanced citrus notes. To bring balance, we have added local honey to add a touch of sweetness and carbonation for effervescence. Newtown Twist carries the spirit of traditional cider making while celebrating fresh ingredients and complex flavors.

“In an effort to learn the cider making process more intimately and help craft a new cider, we reached out to one of our favorite hard cider teams, Stowe Cider,” said Nolan O’Malley, part owner of CiderScene. “Not only do we have a love for east coast products, we have been long-time fans of Stowe’s Headliner, Vermont Grown, and Brainwaves series. They have a great team with a grasp on modern and traditional cider making processes. Not only were they excited to work with us, we were able to go through the entire process of making the cider which was the experience of a lifetime!”

Mark Ray, co-owner of Stowe Cider shared, “Our team really enjoyed collaborating with Trevor and Nolan. Their dedication and appreciation for cider is unwavering and that came through in all of our conversations involving cider. Their respect for all styles of cider made this a fun project as we were able to blend a little old school and new school into one awesome product. We look forward to working with them again on future projects.”

Newtown Pippin will be available for purchase on the Stowe Cider website starting on February 10th.

About Stowe Cider:
Stowe Cider was founded in 2013 in Stowe, Vermont with a vision of bringing something different to the cider scene- a version that boasted less than half the sweetness of most commercial cider. Head Cider Maker and co-owner Mark Ray is constantly developing unique recipes that you will not find anywhere else. Ciders range from simple and dry to more experimental ciders that exhibit local fruits, hops, and unique barrel-aged offerings. Stowe Cider’s mission is to stay ahead of industry standards by innovative innovative and world-class cider while having more fun than anyone.

About CiderScene:
Started in 2016 by twin brothers Trevor and Nolan O’Malley, CiderScene strips to create a space where cider fans and novices alike can congregate to learn about ciders and find out what ciders they may like. CiderScene aims to open the minds of beer and wine drinkers when it comes to the craft of cider. CiderScene tries to take a fun, light approach to the industry to spark more conversation and innovative ways to activate the cider and non-cider audiences on the web.


Eden Cider’s Oliver’s Twist Foxwhelp Cider

Happy snowy morning to everyone who’s celebrating! And good luck to those who don’t feel ready for it yet. We’ve been a little bit snowy here since just a few days before Thanksgiving, so it’s feeling tremendously appropriate. Tis the season to get cozy. I’m starting to think about creating my yearly Favorite 10 ciders of the year list. If you want to see what that’s all about, here’s last year’s:

It’s too soon to know what will make the cut this year, but I do like to guarantee that it will be a difficult decision by pulling out some extra special things in November and December. That was my thinking when I reached for Eden Cider’s Oliver’s Twist.

Eden Cider comes to us from northern Vermont. I’ve reviewed many things by Eden Ciders and much more background on this apple-centric cidery appears in earlier reviews. Here’s the full list.

Brut Rose:


Deep Cut:

Peak Bloom:


Extra Sec:

Eden Heritage Cider:

Siren Song:

Brut Nature:

Imperial 11 Degree Rose:

Sparkling Dry:

The Sparkling Dry supported my Thanksgiving & Birthday celebrations in 2016:

You can also visit Eden Cidery online to learn about the current lineup for harvest ciders, aperitifs, and ice ciders:

I chose Oliver’s Twist as part of my Thanksgiving holiday. I have a lot of hope that the tannins and acidity that I anticipate will work wonders for a rich and salty feast.

Here’s how the cider is described on the bottle.

On a visit to Herefordshire, Tom Oliver treated us to a mind-blowing taste from a five year-old barrel of cider made from Foxwhelp apples. A classic bittersharp variety, the power of its acidity after years of adversity tested to its strength of character and sunny personality. Our single variety cider is made from 100% Foxwhelp apples grown at Poverty Lane Orchards. Bright and drinkable now, we suggest putting a few bottles in your cellar. Over time it may become as mellow and friendly as Tom himself. 7.5% ABV Batch: 2018

Appearance: warm apricot, hazy, only slightly bubbly

Consider me intrigued. Oliver’s Twist looks hazy and warm. The color reminds me of dried apricots. I can see just a handful of bubbles when I look closely.

Aromas: minerals, citrus, ripe apple

This cider smells like lemons, ripe apples, and crushed rocks. I’m definitely anticipating both acidity and tannins based on these aromas.

Dryness/sweetness: Dry

This is a dry cider that delivers in every facet. If you expect sweetness, you won’t find it. You will find everything else.

Flavors and drinking experience: sharply tart, tannic, funky, and tropical

I love a tart cider that’s practically bouncing with sharp yet not abrasive acid. Oliver’s Twist fits that description perfectly. This cider is awesomely acidic and terrifically tannic. I love that the cider can work both of those angles with intensity.

Oliver’s Twist helps keep that balance by bringing lots of bubbles and citrus zing. I love how very lemony the cider tastes. It is mildly funky but not dirty. The wildness reminds me of saving herbs. The most surprising element in the whole experience is how Oliver’s Twist leaves my palate with a tropical fruit finish. It was citrus, tannins, and bubbles up until the very end and then the pineapple and star fruit arrived!

I saved this bottle for a special meal: cranberry and hazelnut veggie roast, balsamic Brussels sprouts, cider dressing, mashed potatoes, spicy Delicata squash, cranberry relish, rolls and gravy. I needed a cider exactly like this: exciting, zesty, dry, bubbly and super flavorful. My meal was rich, salty, spicy, sweet, with just a little bit of tart. I needed to bring sour but not not sour to the table. Oliver’s Twist managed to have body, bubbles, complexity and plenty of sour tartness to enliven each aspect of the meal. It was a treat, and I’m glad I opened it when I did.

What delightful ciders have you been saving in your cellar? Now would be a great time to re-acquaint yourself with them!


Red Velvet Smoothie – Dessert Smoothie with a Healthy Twist!

red velvet smoothie

Today I’m giving you a smoothie recipe loaded with rich chocolate flavor and just the right amount of sweetness. Plus, it’s got a velvety texture that you want in a creamy dessert. Where does it get that lovely red color, you ask? Why a little bit of beet! (Don’t worry, you can’t even taste it.) This luscious red smoothie satisfies my sweet tooth, gives me natural energy and provides a festive treat to share with a loved one.

Don’t let the spinach fool you. If you’re looking for a dessert smoothie, then this is a winner!

delicious red smoothie

Red Velvet Smoothie Recipe

I like blending my smoothies in two steps for the smoothest result. First, blend spinach and coconut milk (canned or carton, your choice) until smooth. If you’re not using a high-speed blender, then whip the canned coconut milk before adding to the blender to stir the fat into the liquid.

Then add the strawberries (frozen), Medjool dates, beet, cacao powder and vanilla extract to the blender. Blend until smooth.

If you’re serving this as a dessert, feel free to add a dollop of coconut whipped cream to the top and turn it into a festive shake.

Tips for the Best Blend

To ensure the Medjool dates are thoroughly blended, let your blender run on medium speed for a bit, then slowly increase to high. If you’re using a non-high-powered blender, swap the dates with maple syrup for an easier blend.

Canned coconut milk (full-fat or light) gives you a milkshake texture. The beet adds the iconic deep red velvet color. You can also swap it with beet powder.

Using frozen strawberries ensures a refreshingly cool red velvet smoothie, or you can refrigerate before serving (give it a good shake).

dessert smoothie recipe

Sweetener Swaps for Dessert Smoothies

I love the caramel flavor of Medjool dates, but you could use several natural sweeteners for this red smoothie. Here are a few more options:

Maple Syrup– Use two tablespoons of maple syrup to replace two dates. Maple syrup is a great swap if you’re not using a high-powered blender.

Date syrup– This newer sweetener is a great option too! Start with one tablespoon, then add more to taste.

Banana– ¼ a banana (fresh or frozen) can add creaminess along with sweetness. It’s a great swap if you’re using carton coconut milk.

Red Velvet Smoothie FAQs

What kind of coconut milk is best for smoothies?

It depends on the texture you want. Canned coconut milk gives a thicker, creamier texture. Carton coconut milk is much thinner and offers a tropical taste when paired with other tropical fruits like pineapple and dragon fruit.

Should I use cocoa or cacao in smoothies?

I recommend unsweetened cocoa or cacao in smoothies. Both are great options with a slightly different taste. It’s up to you to determine which you like better. Just make sure they are unsweetened; no need to add in extra sugar.

How do I make a red velvet smoothie?

Blend spinach and coconut milk until smooth. Add strawberries, Medjool dates, beet, cacao powder and vanilla extra to the blender and blend again until smooth. Pour into a fancy glass and enjoy!

valentine's dessert

Dessert Smoothies

If you’re craving a smoothie and have a sweet tooth, try blending one of these decadent recipes. Perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up or an easy dessert.

Who knew plants could be so delicious? Which one of these do you want to blend first? Don’t forget to try this Red Velvet Smoothie recipe as well. It truly is like cake in a cup!

Red Velvet Smoothie

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Give your heart a healthy boost with cacao (unsweetened cocoa) in this green smoothie recipe. Serve it in a fancy glass with two straws so you and your loved one can enjoy it together!

Total Time5 minutes



  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup strawberries (frozen)
  • 2 medjool dates (pitted)
  • 2 . beet (raw or cooked)
  • 1 . cacao powder
  • ½ test vanilla extract


  • Blend spinach and coconut milk until smooth.

  • Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.

  • Top with a dollop of coconut whipped cream, if desired.


  • Use frozen fruit to make smoothie cold.
  • Swap spinach for the leafy green of your choice.
  • Swap Medjool date with the natural sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, honey, etc.)
  • Use canned coconut milk for a richer, creamier smoothie.
  • Use carton coconut milk for a lighter smoothie.
  • Unsweetened cacao powder can be swapped with unsweetened cocoa powder.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 289kcal (14%) Carbohydrates: 35g (12%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 15g (23%) Saturated Fat: 14g (88%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monnounsaturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 216mg (9%) Potassium: 655mg (19%) Fiber: 7g (29%) Sugar: 18g (20%) Vitamin A: 2842IU (57%) Vitamin C: 95mg (115 %) Calcium: 70mg (7%) Iron: 2mg (11%)