Blake’s Hard Cider in Armada turned to YouTube to bring its farm to the homes of those who could not visit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our main purpose for YouTube was to use our platform to bring content to people that was useful for themselves and their families,” says marketing director Elena Dinverno. “We have many amazingly talented people on our team, so gathering content was not hard.”
The idea is to present cooking segments that draw on Blake’s farm and hard cider products to create recipes that can easily be replicated at home, Dinverno explains, with options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s even a “How to Make Your Own Hard Cider” video from one of Blake’s cider makers.
The YouTube channel also gives the staff the opportunity to promote new summer products, such as their Mimosa Lite Cider, Kinder Cider Saint Chéri, Rainbow Seeker Pineapple and Sage Cider and others.
The first cooking video was created May 3 and showcased Candied Jalapeño Barbecue Ribs in a five-minute video. To date, seven videos have been created, and Blake’s plans to make more throughout 2020.
Since the pandemic started, Blake’s has contemplated ways to continue to engage with customers without being in the same room.
“It’s another way for us to connect to our customers and build new followers,” Dinverno says. “We always have guests asking for recipes with our products, so this was one way to answer that request.”
Candied Jalapeño Barbecue Ribs
1 tablespoon chili powder
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh ground coffee
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon brown sugar/white sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
4 tablespoons Blake’s Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup Blake’s Candied Jalapeño Barbecue Sauce
Remove the membrane (this allows the spices and smoke to penetrate the meat properly). With a fork or knife,
slide underneath the blue membrane. Once you are able to peel it up, grab the membrane with fingers and pull in one motion to remove it. If slippery, use a small amount of paper towel between fingers to add grip.
Next, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Massage the apple cider vinegar into both sides of the ribs. Generously sprinkle rub onto both sides of ribs and massage in well. Once the rub is covering the ribs, lay down several layers of heavy-duty tin foil. Place the ribs meat side down so that it looks like a happy face. Wrap the ribs in tin foil and place in a preheated oven at 275 F for three hours.
Remove the ribs from the oven. Remove the ribs from the foil and slather them with the barbecue sauce. Optional: Move an oven rack near to the top of the oven. Turn broiler to high and broil the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes, just until the barbecue sauce begins to caramelize. You can also move this step to the grill. Just make sure your grill is up to a high heat and place ribs meat side down. Be careful not to overcook!