Apple cider of Evanston

Mae Luning, Arts and Entertainment Editor

For me, hot apple cider is a fall staple. Fall as a season is always a magical time of year, and even with this year’s weirdly hot weather, I’m always up for a steaming cup of hot cider. 

What makes apple cider so great? That depends—hot apple cider can come in many different forms, whatever you’re looking for you’ll find at one of the three shops in this review. From spiced to caramel or a combination of the two, coffee shops all around Evanston introduced unique, limited-edition apple cider to their fall menus. 

The three locations with some of the best cider in Evanston? You’ll find them here—Colectivo, Backlot and Coffee Lab. 


Colectivo (6/10)

I’ve heard a lot about Colectivo’s limited-edition spiced hot apple cider, so I was prepared to be blown away when I tried it. I even went in early before school because, apparently, it sells out before noon. It was good but certainly not great. If you get the chance, I definitely recommend stopping by Colectivo, if not for the apple cider, at least for the other items on their fall menu. Colectivo is one of my favorite coffee spots in Evanston, and it does fall very well. Their apple cider itself is pretty basic,—a slimming hot cup of cider with their attempt at an added twist—a tea bag filled with different spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s a solid drink for a brisk November day but definitely doesn’t top this list. 


Backlot (9/10)

Backlot Coffee’s seasonal hot caramel apple cider did not disappoint. Much like Colectivo, Backlot has a limited-edition fall menu that’s stacked with delicious seasonal treats. I, of course, went straight for the caramel apple cider. Their cider is the perfect temperature and richness. The flavor itself is probably the best on this list, but there’s one problem; the apple cider is advertised as caramel apple cider, but I couldn’t taste the caramel at all. This is a problem that I encounter a lot at Backlot. With things like their lavender matcha (can’t taste the lavender) and pomegranate iced tea (you guessed it, can’t taste any pomegranate) missing a few flavors, I can’t say I wasn’t expecting this, but it was still a little disappointing. Backlot’s cider is still a standout for me though. If you’re looking for a great hot apple cider, Backlot is the place to go; just don’t go expecting caramel. 


Coffee Lab (7/10)

Coffee Lab gives their customers a choice: hot apple cider with cinnamon, caramel or both. I chose cinnamon since I’d already had caramel at Backlot (kind of), and I think it was really good! Honestly, Coffee Lab’s cider didn’t amaze me but there’s nothing to complain about either. Coffee Lab is also a great fall coffee shop, and if you happen to find yourself on Noyes Street, I’d definitely recommend stopping in.