Tree-dappled light dances yellow-green across the table. Warm breezes brush your skin, and your hand wraps around a cold glass. Finally, you’re sitting with friends; together this summer. Your heart lightens with the bright days. Chances are, the dripping glass you raise to your lips has something light and fruity, matching the summer mood.
The highlight of the day is… well… the day.
Light-in-a-glass, tropical delight tickles across your tongue. Wait, what’s that? Refreshing pineapple, not sticky-sweet. Lime? And a richness there at the end… Suddenly this craft drink becomes one highlight of this amazing day. Lovely, relaxed summer drinker – meet the SAMBA Pineapple Margarita, Herb’s Cider’s newest offering to all things summer.
Like many creative wonders, Samba’s roots start in collaboration. Jenny Hagemann (co-owner of Thousand Acre Cider House in Bellingham, Certified Cider Professional and Cider Cocktail Queen) urged Tim, Shama and Chris to try something a little sweeter than Herb’s typical fare. She proposed a collaboration with Herb’s Cider for Thousand Acre Cider House’s first anniversary: a margarita cider. Chris suggested pineapple. The idea blossomed into pineapple margarita. “And of course, Chris had to put a “Herb’s” twist on it, so he added the Tequila-barrel aging,” Shama said. “It was an experiment.” One that went well. SAMBA Pineapple Margarita Cider was born (well, fermented) in Tequila-barrels, and released in the infamous summer of 2020. It’s refreshing, not-too-sweet taste was an immediate hit.
Besides the signature barrel aging, Samba’s complexity is another of Chris’s trademarks: his ciders are always on point, from the front of the palette, to the back. Samba starts with a light, effervescent fruit, then layers in the lime and agave, and the smokey tequila-barrel richness brings up the back of the palate.
At first, exclusive to Thousand Acre Cider House, SAMBA was in kegs, then released to wider distribution. Bottles followed, selling at farmers’ markets, Herb’s Ciderhouse, and other retail outlets. “What started as a summer release quickly became one of our top sellers,” Tim mused. “We could barely keep up. Yet, a bigger bottle of cider isn’t the best option for many people. We want to make it available to a wider audience by putting it in cans.” Fast-forward to 2021, our “back-to-almost-normal” summer. The sun seems brighter, the breeze sweeter, and gathering with friends is even more special as Thousand Acre Cider House celebrates their second anniversary + Herb’s Ciderhouse is re-open with fourteen of our own incredible ciders on tap.
We at Herb’s thank everyone who has supported ours and so many other small, local businesses during the devastation of Covid-19. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you guys! Just to make honoring this special time a bit – sweeter, SAMBA is now more convenient; the same quality craft beverage is now available in cans. We aren’t stopping with summer, though… SAMBA has proven so versatile, it has joined our foundation lineup, available year-round. Try it with barbecue, blue cheese, or spicy Thai. It’s also brilliant with desserts, or on its own.
See you on the patio!