Vermont chocolatiers Lake Champlain Chocolates are no stranger to collaborations with local purveyors of food and drink. Now, the chocolate company is teaming up with Citizen Cider and Happy Valley Orchard to create a new apple cider caramel. 

The use of ingredients from Citizen Cider, an up-and-coming ciderhouse based in Essex, Vt. and Happy Valley Orchard based in Middlebury, Vt. produces a cider caramel that showcases a harmony of fermented foods—apples into cider and cocoa beans into chocolate. Together in one distinctive confection, this caramel will remind you of your favorite apple crisp or caramel apple and is a delicious way to savor the taste of the Vermont. 

 “Apple is such a classic Vermont taste and we’ve been looking to create a product that celebrates this iconic flavor,” says Lauren Deitsch, research and development 

specialist at LCC. “Partnering with Citizen Cider and Happy Valley Orchard provided us with an incredibly flavorful apple syrup which we infused into our popular ‘stand-up’ caramel. The result is a slow-cooked buttery caramel packed with fresh apple flavor notes, finished with a touch of Unified Press cider, and then covered in milk chocolate.” 

Citizen Cider, founded by three friends – a chemist, a farmer and a wine salesman – has gone from producing roughly 500 gallons of their flagship cider Unified Press, first made with the help of a 1950s cider press, to 75,000 gallons as a result of their partnership with Happy Valley Orchard, a 16-acre apple orchard, in just under two years. 

“Much like Lake Champlain Chocolates, we take great pride in creating something people love from the use of local and sustainable ingredients,” says Justin Heilenbach, Citizen Cider founder. “This is the first partnership of its kind for Citizen Cider and we’re thrilled to have worked with Lake Champlain Chocolates to create a new product that cider drinkers and chocolate lovers will really enjoy.”