LOWER EAST SIDE — A new Orchard Street bar and restaurant will boast one of the largest hard cider menus in the city, with about a hundred different varieties from across the United States and several countries around the world.
Wassail, which opens Tuesday, aims to show how varied ciders can be, said owners Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim, the husband-and-wife team behind Queens Kickshaw cafe in Astoria.
“Cider is not just one thing,” Lim said. “Because it’s so varied, I think we can find something for everyone. If someone likes sour beers and lambics [a Belgian-style beer] and kombuchas, there’s a cider for them.”
Different types of apples and fermentation processes produce different kinds of ciders. An area’s cider-making traditions, as well as its geography, can also influence flavor, the owners said.
“That’s why you’ve got vastly different ciders from different regions. Spanish cider is so different from French cider is so different from German cider,” Sandler said. “Your final product is really wrapped up in the place from where it came.”
Wassail will offer pints of cider starting at $8. Large-format bottles will be mostly in the $35 to $50 range, they said. The bar will also serve a selection of cocktails, beer and wine.
The 70-seat hall will also offer a food menu intended to highlight the “food pairing qualities of cider,” Sandler said.
The menu includes bar bites — like a Scotch quail egg smothered in polenta and mushrooms — as well as appetizers, main courses and desserts that range from $9 to $23, he said. Brunch will be offered in a few months, Lim added.
A private room in the back of the restaurant will also be used to hold cider-related events like tastings, workshops and gatherings for home cider-makers, Lim said.
Wassail, located at 162 Orchard St., will be open Sunday through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.