Cider 101: The Ultimate Guide to Apple Juice with a Kick
Okay all you bearded, flannel-wearing, beer-loving hipsters; cider is now the cool thing to drink. Again. It’s a real comeback kid with a long history. Don’t believe us? Here are some random, yet interesting things about cider and its past.
Cider apples were brought to America in 1607 by the Jamestown settlers, and spread around the colonies by the legendary Johnny Appleseed — but more than 2,000 years ago, Strabo, the Greek geographer, was served fermented apple juice in Asturias, in what is now Spain. And fermented — or "hard" — cider is what we're talking about here, not the apple juice often called cider in America.
John Adams, who lived to be 90, drank a tankard every morning before breakfast because he believed apple cider made him healthy and prolonged his life. Thomas Jefferson’s “table drink” was a Champagne-like cider made with Hewe’s crabapples. And up until the end of the nineteenth century, anyone around America who had a yard or patch of land and an obliging climate grew apples for cider.
In the twentieth century, the one-two punch that brought cider to its knees was beer’s amazing rise in popularity in the latter nineteenth century along with the hammer of prohibition in the first part of the twentieth. Despite this, cider has made an incredible comeback: In the past three years its market share of the beer category’s sales has increased more than fivefold. This is why we believe learning absolutely everything about cider is well worth your time.
Read on for what we like to call the ultimate guide to cider.