Apple Cider

For the early settlers of the 1600s and 1700s to America, there was not always clean safe water to drink. Many instead turned to beer, such as the Pilgrims but it was difficult to grow wheat, rye and barley for brewing the beer.

Another early English settler’s beverage was cider. With apples growing very well in the New England region of America, apple cider became a standard drink for adults and a watered-down version known as ‘ciderkin’ or ‘applekin’ for children. A family could consume about 90 gallons of cider a year. Many early farmers grew the apple trees and produced the cider since there was such a demand.

Through the years, the apple cider was fermented. However, by the late 1800s and into the 20th century, there was a push to end anything considered an alcoholic beverage. Many people, including your ancestors, switched to pressing apple juice as cider but it was unfermented (non-alcoholic). New regulations saw the apple cider was filtered and pasteurized. The difference between apple cider and apple juice is the cider tends to be darker in color with some pulp. People love to serve it warmed or cold. Those ciders that do have alcohol are known now as ‘hard cider’. There is also a sparkling apple cider, non-alcoholic, that has bubbles and is served in a cocktail glass.

Apple cider (also known as sweet cider and soft cider) for decades has remained popular for both women and men. It can genuinely be thought of as a “gender-neutral” drink.

Photo: Glass of apple cider.

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