The cooler weather and changing leaves mean one thing: apple season and delicious homemade cider.
A two-hour drive from the desert metropolis of Palm Springs lies an apple oasis. The mountain town of Julian, which quickly became the Southern California Gold Rush hub, is now the hub for a liquid gold: boozy cider.
At the recently opened Julian Hard Cider Miner’s Saloon, the tasting menu is more Golden Delicious than Pinot Noir. Try the Black and Blue, a blend of fresh-pressed hard cider and farm-fresh blueberries and blackberries. Or, go red with the Razzmatazz, which swaps in raspberries. For something festive, there’s always the Apple Pie: hard cider plus a hint of spice. (Justified TV fans might recognize Mag’s drink of choice.)
The Miner’s Saloon is located on Highway 78—so after a nip there, your designated driver can hit the Hops Highway, as it’s nicknamed. The strip is known as the spot for a beer-fueled tour of many San Diego County craft beers. No worries, winos, there are also a few tasting rooms.
Photo courtesy of Julian Hard Cider Miner’s Saloon