The Basque Country of northern Spain and southern France constitutes one of the oldest communities in Europe, a culture celebrated for its food, crafts, music, dance, and poetry. Apple cider and the sagardotegi (cider house) are staples of the region’s cuisine, and the delicious centuries-old tradition of Basque ciders is now gaining attention in the United States.
Basque cider’s tart, vinegary flavor makes it distinctive. It’s also famous for its unique serving method: escanciar la sidra, the precarious art of pouring a bottle from above a drinker’s head into a glass held at waist height. More than just a party trick, the practice aerates the cider before it reaches the glass.
Washington gets its first Basque-style cider house this spring when ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar opens. The menu plans to offer Basque small bites (pintxos), heartier dishes typical of cider houses, and one of the most extensive selections of ciders outside the Basque Country. Experience a range of Basque ciders as Tim Prendergast, ANXO’s beverage director, and Basque Country native Estebe Salgado, a cider importer with Tradewinds Specialty Imports, lead guests through a tasting and talk about the beverage’s history and significance.
All guests must be 21 and over with proper ID.
The evening is a perfect way to whet your appetite for the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s program Basque: Innovation by Culture.
Smithsonian and Other Connections
Learn more about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s plan to showcase Basque culture this summer. The free event takes place Wednesday, June 29, through Monday, July 4, and Thursday, July 7, through Sunday, July 10, on the National Mall.
Get a preview of what ANXO has in store for cider fans and diners when it opens this spring in a century-old building in Truxton Circle at 300 Florida Ave., NW.