Cider’s long and rich history

Hard cider once reigned supreme amongst the drinking public, but over the centuries it became relegated to the ‘kiddie menu’ of most bars’ beverage lists. Cider was one of the first alcoholic drinks that mankind perfected, so what happened? You’ll find the answer to that question, plus a whole lot more, over at the blog Great British Chefs. There Jane Peyton, award-winning beer sommelier, writer, broadcaster and founder of the School of Booze, enlightens us about the once (and future?) king of drinks

cider shandy

In addition to being a beer sommelier, Peyton is also an accredited Pommelier (cider sommelier). She is a cider advocate who wants people to rethink cider, and its reputation as being a bland and overly sweet drink. Peyton likes to consider cider to be apple wine, which resets the way we look at the beverage, which has been around since about 3000 BCE. 

While cider’s past is long and storied, the drink began to resemble what we know today after the Norman invasion of England in 1066. The invaders brought with them tannic and acidic cider apples, plus advanced pressing techniques, which led to improvements in the taste and body of the cider. The English cider tradition is the most developed in the world:  Britons are the biggest consumers of cider per capita and a whopping 56% of apples grown in the UK are dedicated to cider making. 

Photo of Hard cider ginger shandy from Serious Eats

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