I love me some cider as well as hard cider. That's MY drink.
Oh, yeah, with you on those two. Those are both the genuine article -- and reasonably widely available. The shocking thing is that so long as you can find them you don't pay any more than you would for something like Bullmers or Magners.
Originally Posted by Neely
The ultimate place for British cider-lovers is Middle Farm in Sussex. Sussex isn't a traditional cider-apple growing county, but for whatever reason there's a farm shop that's gone crazy on the stuff. They must have hundreds of different ciders from every maker in England and Wales:
Middle farm | cider & perry
They have an Aladdin's Cave of bottles. They also have dozens of barrels against the wall -- you bring a container and fill it from your preferred barrel. They also have little tasting-cups so you can decide which barrel you like best. There are said to be people who've gone in there and never come out ...
There's a historical mystery behind cider -- why is there no mention of it in Anglo-Saxon times? This expert claims that we just don't see it in the records because we're misunderstanding the names for drinks:
Since the Norman Conquest it's been known by the French name cidre -- anglicized to "cider" -- but before the Conquest it was probably known as beor. Beor was legendary for taking your legs away. Historians have assumed it was beer, derived from the word for barley bere, but that could well be a mistaken assumption.
Cider also used to be the drink in America in the early days. It's to be found in Kenneth Roberts' superb historical novel Northwest Passage.
Northwest Passage: Kenneth Roberts: 9780892725427: Amazon.com: Books
Rapid expansion westward, which didn't leave time to plant apple orchards and allow them to come to maturity, and then prohibition killed it. America before prohibition seems largely to have drunk cider; afterwards it was beer, propelled by people coming in from places like Germany and Czechoslovakia with the beer-making skills. Prohibition is also the reason why some modern Americans refer to apple juice as "cider" -- quite literally you couldn't legally make and sell the real thing.