“Cyders and malt beverages are my table drinks”
“From the founding of Jamestown, to the time of Washington and Jefferson, every plantation owner made cider, drank cider, and bragged about their cider.”
–A History of the Horticulture in America to 1860
History of Cider
In colonial America, fermented cider was the drink of choice. John Adams attributed his health and long life to a tankard of cider before breakfast. Thomas Jefferson’s champagne-like cider, made with Hewe’s Crabapples, was his “table drink.” Throughout the 19th century, growing apples and crafting cider from cider apples was an integral part every community. Many factors contributed to the decline in farms; immigration patterns changed and more beer drinkers arrived in US; Prohibition dealt the last blow and most cider orchards declined or were destroyed. Many Virginia cidermakers aim to revive the cider tradition by growing, or encouraging others to grow cider apples, and by crafting fine cider
–Virginia Cider Tasting Guide 2013
Just as wine and beer offer a near infinite range of styles, cider styles, run the gamut from dry to sweet, still to sparkling, simple to complex, clean to funky. Many ciders are bubbly, either through bottle or tank fermentation, or by adding carbonation as part of the cidermaking. Though bottle fermented cider may have lots of tiny bubbles like French champagne, most cider has frizzante level of carbonation-for the chemistry geeks out there less than 4 grams per liter dissolved CO2.