Cider is a fermented, alcoholic beverage made from apples. Humans have been fermenting apples to make cider for thousands of years. The apple tree is believed to be native to Kazakstan and came to the US with early settlers, spread widely as settlers moved west and south and became a mainstay crop until Prohibition when thousands of trees were cut down. Cider can be made from any kind of apple, but the most interesting cider comes from apples loaded with tannin and acids and sugar artfully blended to make a drink that's complex, interesting, and refreshing. A revival of cider and cider-apple trees has been underway in this country since the late 1970s.

 

Cidermakers produce an extraordinary variety of cider, ranging from sweet to bone dry and from simple, low-alcohol drinks to complex, long-aged ciders that pair well with any kind of food. Many countries have a strong and long tradition of cidermaking, including the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Spain. The destruction of apple trees wrought by Prohibition meant there were no traditional forms of cidermaking for the current generation to follow or be bound by. The resultant explosion in creativity has produced ciders flavored with every manner of spice and fruit, ciders made with dessert apples exclusively, ciders made a nod to traditional cidermaking practices, and everything in between.

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