All About of Apple Cider
Who doesn’t love the fall? The leaves change colours, chunky sweaters cycle back into your wardrobe, and most importantly, apple cider season kicks into full gear. Our September 2015 Tea of the Month Spiced Apple is a sweet and spicy blend of apple, figs, cinnamon and star anise, and our homage to the beloved beverage. But where did this drink get its start?
2000 years in the making
Apple cider has a long and storied history. The earliest records of the drink date it to around 55BC, when Romans arrived in England and discovered the locals drinking a cider-type beverage. Needless to say, it was quickly embraced by the Romans. Even their leader, Julius Caesar, was said to indulge. And during the following centuries, cider became so popular that by the 1060’s, dedicated apple orchards were being planted to meet the demand for the fermented elixir.
All’s wassail that ends wassail
Apple cider continues its story in Southern England in the late 1500’s. At the time, locals would drink wassail, a beverage made from tart apples and warm mead. In an annual tradition called Wassailing, locals would imbibe and then roam through the orchards to awaken the apple trees and to rid them of evil spirits, giving hope for a good harvest. How do you like them apples!
Wet Hot American Cider
As British settlers made their way to America, so did their love of cider. Apple seeds were planted, orchards were established and the American love affair with cider began. However, the biggest boost to the American cider industry came from Johnny Appleseed, who planted field after field of apple seeds across the country’s Midwest. With so many apple trees popping up, cider production quickly followed suit.
Today in America, apple cider typically refers more to unfiltered apple juice. The change came during American prohibition when alcoholic beverages became illegal… talk about a bad apple. But if you still choose to indulge in the occasional cider, don’t forget to raise a glass on September 30th, AKA National Hot Apple Cider Day!