On an overland to the Tien Shan mountains in Northwest China, I checked into in a hostel in a village along the Xingzi River. Having lost my diary a week before during a sudden retreat from a bar, I was unaware of the impending New Year’s celebration. Never one to miss a party, I proceeded to nocturnal wandering and firecracker watching, passing decorated doorways draped in red. I became hopelessly lost as the invisible New Moon rose in the small hours, but awoke at Dawn on a snug park bench to find that a reveler had left, atop my satchel at my head, a red envelope containing six gold coins and one radiant Mandarin orange.
Upon my return to America I set about working with this orange, ever fickle and not one upon which many fermentative discoveries have been published. Eventually I determined that a combination of juice and zest, with a hint of chamomile flower, create a flavor so unusual that it had to be shared. I hope you enjoy this cider as much as I do.