founding fathers were fans!
Cider's history is long, we're talking Colonial times -- the Founding Fathers are known to have enjoyed it regularly.
since the prohibition days
Prohibition and a deep frost in the 1930s nearly killed off the industry altogether. It has since been slowly rebuilding and experiencing a rebirth in popularity, particularly among young drinkers.
yay for gluten free!
Cider is naturally gluten free. Made from apples, water and little else, most ciders are naturally gluten free -- the perfect drink for celiac sufferers or those on a gluten free or paleo diet.
fda all the way
Ciders - unlike beers and wines - are governed by the Federal Drug Administration, which means they are required to list the ingredients on the bottle or can.
cider for all
Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer your beverages bone dry, there's a cider variety out there for you. Many people associate ciders as being sweet, but McKenzies cider offers a range of flavors and sugar levels.
By law, ciders may not be more than 5.5% ABV. Those that come in higher than that are considered apple "wine."
"all ciders are created equal"
If you were to roll up via horse n’ buggy to Monticello in the 1800s, Thomas Jefferson may have offered you a cool glass of cider before cracking into his Bordeaux cellar.
the big apple
New York State is the second largest producer of apples in the nation — producing 29.5 million bushels annually.
NY's apple country
Most of the apple orchards can be found in the Hudson Valley, which is affectionately known as the “Apple Belt,” but apples are grown all over our great state, including Long Island, the Finger Lakes, Champlain Valley, and the Niagara Frontier.
apples to apples
Today, there are over 100 different varieties of apples grown specifically to make cider. And just like with wine grapes, the territory of each site effects the apple’s characteristics. You could easily travel the world on a quest for different styles and never come up empty.
Most ciders are a blend of different apples that, together, give a desired balance (single-varietal ciders are also produced). To help facilitate the blending, cider apples are organized into four main categories: Sweets, Sharps, Bittersweets, and Bittersharps.
the hills are alive
In Early Medieval times in Britain, the tradition of “wassailing” the orchards involved reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year.
father, son, and the holy cider
Back in the 14th century, it is believed that kids were baptized in cider since it was often more sanitary than water.
cider for life
An apple beverage a day? President John Adams drank a tankard of cider every morning because he believed it promoted good health. And it must have - Adams lived to 90, making him our third longest living president, behind Ford & Reagan.
Cider was so important to early Americans that one in every ten farms in New England operated its own cider mill by the time of the American Revolution.
make like a tree and leave
Why didn't the drink stay popular over the years? The Temperance movement killed the business. Fired up by speeches from ministers and politicians, many farmers destroyed their "demon orchards," sparing only the trees used for sweet juice.
how ya like them apples?
You'll need lots of apples to make your own cider. It takes about 36 pieces of fruit to make one gallon of the good stuff.
when in rome
When Caesar and his invading soldiers stormed through England in 55 BCE, they found Celts sipping a brew made from crab apples. The troops were quick to pick up the habit and take it back to Rome.
don't drink this cider
Looking for the proper way to care for a dead genius' brain? For more than 40 years, Einstein's cranium was stored in a box labeled Costa Cider. Actually, it was stored in two mason jars in the Cider box, under pathologist Thomas Harvey's sink.
Of course, if this moderately alcoholic beverage doesn't do it for you, it's possible to make hard ciders even harder. Apple brandy and applejack are distilled ciders. Applejack, in particular, is really potent. It's nicknamed the "essence of lockjaw."