Ice ciders were first created in Quebec by accident back in the 1980s. With the arrival of frost, apples that still remain in the tree freeze and sugars concentrate. When pressed, a juice with a greater alcohol potential is obtained. Today, this process can be artificially forced, either by freezing apples or the juice itself.
In the case of Bizi-Goxo, the new generations of the Zapiain cider house discovered it in Chicago and decided to produce it in the Basque Country. But it wasn’t an easy task.
The first thing that they had to do was to find a local apple variety that would fit the needs of an ice cider. And they found it in the Errezil Sagarra, a much appreciated kind of reinette that has a high sugar content but is also quite acidic. It is what we call a winter apple, which ripens late on the tree and lasts long time after being harvested, increasing the sugar content as it matures.
After several attempts they finally got a finished product that borders on perfection. Bizi-Goxo lives up to the two most outstanding characteristics of the Errezila apple. It’s a sweet cider (goxo) at the same time as acidic (bizi), something that differs from other ice ciders that in my opinion are excessively cloying.
Reminiscent of caramel and baked apples, it can be enjoyed as an appetizer or as a dessert. It’s excellent for pairing with high-fat dishes such as foie, duck breast or confit. I showcased Bizi-Goxo during the Ross Cider Festival Cider Club and it was a great success. An exclusive product that is not easy to get, so if you find a bottle don’t hesitate to take it home. Trust me.