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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Apple of Your Eye: The Cider House-Rules

Wine, craft beer, artisanal spirits, and now cider is getting its spotlight. In her new book, Tasting Cider by Erin James and the magazine Cidercraft, James gives us the most comprehensive look at North American Cider. But cider is not a new trend. It’s an old drink, actually. As early as the 1620s the colonists were planting apple orchards for cider production and our Founding Fathers were all into cider including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Ben Franklin. Of course, cider is much older than its North American plantings, but this book focuses only on America and Canada.

There are at least 10,000, apple orchards in North America 7,500 of those in the U.S., cultivating over 200 varieties of apple, and James and her team provide a fairly comprehensive look at 100 ciders, be they dessert ciders, fruit infused ciders, hopped ciders, barrel aged, spiced and botanical additions to cider, and even what is known as perry - pear ciders. Though I have limited knowledge of ciders – I’ve written about some and brought some in to my wine department (including sidra from Spain, California ciders and a pretty cool rum barrel aged Canadian cider called “Prohibition” from Sea Cider), there is still much to learn (like that Johnny “Appleseed” was a real guy) and this book will flesh out what cider is all about. There are a multitude of profiles of cider makers both here in the US and Canada, 60 recipes for cocktails made with cider, and a whole section devoted to food pairings with ciders. So I recommend this as an addendum to wine, beer and spirits – a way to round out your knowledge and, hopefully inspire you to sample some ciders.

Tasting Cider
288 Pages
$19.95 Paperback

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