Hard Cider 101: History, Brands & How to Make Your Own

Glass of Hard Cider

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many people are starting to drink more and more hard cider. Unfortunately, everyone else may not have a thorough understanding of what exactly this type of beverage is, and how it differs from its non-alcoholic counterpart.

Most commonly made from fermented apple juice, hard cider is a widely popular alcoholic beverage across the world, especially in the United Kingdom. In the United States, however, cider is a noticeable weaker drink and lacks some of the distinct apple flavor that makes it so delicious. It must be noted that while apple is the most common type of cider, it’s also commonly made using other fruits.

Let’s take a closer look at the history of this delicious beverage, how you can make your own and the most popular brands to start you off.

The History of Cider

Hard apple cider has existed for as long as humans have been fermenting fruit juices; that is, at least a couple millennium. Historians aren’t quite sure who actually invented cider, but the first written account of the beverage comes from Roman invaders in Britain in 55 BC. It’s said that Julius Caesar was a big fan of the drink. Because of this, it’s believed that the Romans perfected the art of making cider by introducing advanced cultivation techniques leading to it becoming one of the most popular beverages throughout Europe.

In the United States, cider was once common enough that many families had an apple orchard on their property specifically for the purpose of making cider. In fact, it was so popular in the early colonies, that it wasn’t uncommon for people to pay their debts and taxes with cider. It was also common practice for children to drink a diluted version of it. It’s estimated that the average denizen of apple-growing regions drank at least a pint of cider a day.
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