Growing up in Hawaii, hayrides with hot cider weren't a big draw. But I have happily enjoyed a number of those fall-welcoming events in my adult life as a mainlander, though in Florida it can be difficult to find many opportunities to sip warm apple cider. My favorite is a combination of cider with a berry-flavored iced tea garnished with cinnamon and citrus fruits. Our judges said they likely would do the same with one of the basic varieties of cider we found on local grocery store shelves. A couple of brands we sampled had spices already added. Others were labeled as pure cider.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent