The principal business of this popular roadside attraction is making cider. You can get it cold, hot and mulled, or mixed with cranberry juice, by the cup or jug. It is flabbergasting to walk from the parking lot into the cider-press room, where the smell of apples is as intense as fermenting mash in a bourbon distillery. Here you can help yourself to a sample from a big silver drum, watch apples being pressed, or view a video that shows how an apple on a tree becomes cider in a glass.
Walk from the cider press room into the store and a second olfactory wallop awaits. Here, the tantalizing smell of hot donuts rules the air, overwhelming even the aroma of the Vermont cheeses, maple candies, and baked breads for sale. A Cold Hollow cider donut is small and unfrosted, with a crunch to its surface and cakey insides as dark as gingerbread. Made with house cider and good measures of cinnamon and clove, it is a spicy morsel, just sweet enough to harmonize with apple cider. That harmony is this donut’s raison d’etre.
It is fun to watch the donuts made on a single small machine in back. Perfect circles of dough are mechanically plopped into a kind of treadmill that takes them through the hot oil, flips them once, and sends them out into the air crusty hot and ready to be crunched by eager teeth.