Take a break from huffing pumpkin spice everything and appreciate autumn's other special bounty: the apple. Specifically, the delicious creation that comes about when apples are left to ferment, get funky and, ultimately, get boozy. The city's Cider Week festivities kick off on Friday, offering lots of apple-centric tastings, dinners and talks for novice cider drinkers and seasoned pros alike. Below, a few ways to take advantage of this season's bounty and get an autumn appropriate buzz.

Meet A Real Cider: Not to say that the bottled stuff readily available at the grocery store isn't cider, but the overly sugared products bear only a passing resemblance to real hard cider, which boasts more complex and often downright sour characteristics. GrowNYC is putting on An Autumn Night at Greenmarket, where many excellent cideries will be sampling and selling their products, including New York State's first licensed farm cidery Nine Pin Cider (seek out their excellent Belgian cider, which kind of tastes like bananas!). Also on hand, beautifully cloudy ciders from Aaron Burr Cider, champagne-like offerings from Eve's Cidery and Slyboro Ciderhouse, makers of the sour, chewy Night Pasture cider. Friday, October 24th, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Union Square Greenmarket. Free.

Ask The Experts: For a bit more guidance on your cider journey, check out the Cider Tasting and Walk-Around hosted by Back Forty, who are welcoming James Beard winning author Rowan Jacobsen for two hours of sipping, snacking and schooling. Jacobsen—who just published a book about apples—will discuss cider's place in American history while guiding guests through the different styles and flavors of northeast cider makers. Paired snacks will also be on hand in addition to the many samplings; tastings of uncommon apples are also part of the experience. Saturday, October 25th, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Back Forty on Avenue B. Tickets $66.75.

Make A Meal Of It: Enjoy multiple courses of cider-paired dishes at one of Cider Week's excellent dinner events, hosted by such culinary forces as DBGB, Queens Kickshaw, The Gander and Craftbar. Like wines, ciders boast unique characteristics that can easily elevate ingredients and enhance subtle flavors. At DBGB, that'll be things like Clams on the Halfshell and Roasted Quail; at the Queens Kickshaw, it's a vegetarian feast of Mushroom Ravioli and Yukon Gold potatoes with lentils and apples. Multiple Locations

Go Bananas Apples: Each year, the Astor Center's Applepalooza is a highlight of the Week's festivities. If you can attend only one event, make it this one, where dozens of apple-centric (and a few pear) drinks from hard ciders to wines are on hand for the drinking. Taste 12-year-old Calvados from Camut; apple brandy from Harvest Spirits; Extra Dry Sparkling Apple Cider from Farnum Hill plus some "apple-tizers" and unusual apple varieties as well. Thursday, October 30th, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Astor Center. Tickets $55.