I am going to hope very strongly that you, dear readers, have read, seen, or at least heard about the classic play Arsenic and Old Lace., made most famous by the 1944 Frank Capra movie starring Cary Grant.
The play follows relatively normal drama critic Mortimer Brewster and his rather interesting family, including two brothers (one believes himself to be Theodore Roosevelt, and the other is a low-level murderous gangster that now happens to look a lot like Boris Karloff).
But then there’s his aunts, Abby and Martha, who enjoy their hobby of killing lonely old men. Their weapon of choice is elderberry wine, laved with a cocktail of lethal drugs.
We love the piece, and my wife directed a flat-out stunning production of the show a few years ago. Because of this, we sort of have an affinity for all things elderberry. It is surprisingly hard to find a lot of elderberry-flavored foods, however.
Enter the good people at Keel & Curley Winery/Two Henrys Brewing in Plant City, Florida. Their Madman series of ciders is taking off and, according to Vince Rivera, is pretty much available from Tallahassee to Key West at this point.
I didn’t realize exactly how many flavors of Madman were available, however. Vince and Faith in the tasting room sent along a wonderful care package with 6 of the 7 flavors, which I and my wife are definitely going to enjoy. Some of you may remember the reviews of the regular Apple, Strawberry, and Peach varieties.
Lo and behold, they have Elderberry Cider (Cider, 6.2% ABV).
So. Incredibly. Good. Not going to lie, I’m pretty sure this variety of Madman might be my new favorite cider.
The Madman base, made with fresh Pennsylvania apples, is always crisp and refreshing. They let it ferment to just the right amount of sweetness, crisp and juicy but not sticky or syrupy.
From there, Keel & Curley adds fresh elderberry extract. No artificial flavorings, thank you. The flavor is incredibly bright and deep, with lots of great fruit flavors. It’s almost like how fruit punch should taste.
It’s just so good. Definitely worth the wait, and I could easily drink many of these a day. I’m not going to, but I could. Thank you so much to Vince, Faith, Adria, Jeremy, and the Two Henrys/Keel & Curley crew.
And it’s not poisoned at all. Rest assured.
Drink Florida Craft,