If you’re looking where to find cider in Orlando, you’ll enjoy the drier offerings at these small Central Florida cideries. Quantum Leap Winery and Tuffy’s Bottle Shop & Lounge take cider seriously, and so does Edible Orlando contributor John Graham. Here’s where to find cider in Orlando.
by John Graham, photo by Benevolence Photography
*Updated March 2022*
Quantum Leap Winery, 1312 Wilfred Drive, Orlando
Quantum Leap has been creating environmentally conscious wine in the Mills50 neighborhood since 2012. The wines are fermented and blended here in Orlando, but the grape juice comes from around the world. Adding cider was a logical way to keep busy between the two big grape seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres.
Quantum Leap uses champagne yeast for Pedaler’s Hard Cider, producing a dry cider that can be tweaked at the end with unfermented cider as needed.
Quantum Leap only bottles cider occasionally, so the best bet to try various Pedaler’s ciders is the on-site tasting room, 1,800 square feet with a cork floor right next to where wines and ciders are being made. If staff have time, they’ll even give you a free tour, but calling ahead couldn’t hurt.
Tuffy’s Bottle Shop & Lounge, 200 S. Myrtle Ave., Sanford
Tuffy’s first got into cider on a technicality. Co-owner Dan St. Pierre is also a partner in DeBary’s Central 28 Beer Company. A quirk in Florida liquor laws meant it would be much easier to open Tuffy’s if that location also produced something. Central 28 assistant brewer Donald Rhodus made cider at home for years, so it just made sense.
Bringing in apple juice from Michigan and the Northeast, Rhodus likes to use beer yeast strains and doesn’t sweeten on the back end. In fact, Tuffy’s original cider is flavored with isomerized (heated) hops to add a bit of bitterness.
Tuffy’s biggest–selling cider has become Jamaica Droop Noir—flavored with hibiscus (like a “Jamaica” agua fresca) and black cherry. Always willing to try new ingredients, friends brought Rhodus strawberry guava fruit from a tree in their yard. Not stopping there, he added habanero pepper before turning out a new cider.
Tuffy’s has a huge space in Downtown Sanford, 9,000 square feet inside with about the same in an outdoor courtyard. The best place to find Tuffy’s ciders is in house, but The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park and Redlight Redlight in Orlando often have Tuffy’s on tap, too.
More Ciders to Check Out:
Sun Creek Brewery‘s Passion Fruit Cider
Sideward Brewing‘s Sideward Cider