Cider is made by fermenting apple juice and is an extremely popular drink in the UK and in the Normandy and Brittany regions of France, though it is also made in many other countries. In the U.S. there are two types of cider. In all other countries, cider is by default an alcoholic beverage, but in the U.S. non-alcoholic apple juice is also called cider, with the alcoholic variety typically called hard cider to distinguish it from the juice variety. U.S. sales of cider are slowly increasing, with an expansion in the numbers of craft cideries and improved quality, but it still lags a very long way behind beer. Cider has also traditionally been a local drink, varying regionally with the type of apples grown, although today apples are more easily imported. Most U.S. cider apples originate in Washington state, regardless of where the cider is made, and increasingly ciders are being barrel-aged or flavored with herbs, spices, or other fruit.

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Review: Angry Orchard Green Apple Hard Cider

By Christopher Null | April 30, 2014 |

Why are these apples so mad? I guess because Angry Orchard is squeezing them into cider. The company’s latest offering is Green Apple, made from apples grown in Washington state. The attack is brisk and tart, recalling indeed a real green apple. What’s left behind after that crisp apple character fades is a sort of…

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Review: Rekorderlig Swedish Hard Ciders

By Christopher Null | February 17, 2014 |

Rekorderlig, Sweden’s hard cider, is available in myriad flavors, all clocking in at a low 4.5% abv alcohol level. Rekorderlig, popular in Europe and just now making its way to the States, isn’t made just for sipping straight. The creator also wants you to try it out in cocktails. A suggested recipe appears below. Meanwhile, we…

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Review: Lake Champlain Milk Chocolate Apple Cider Caramels

By Christopher Null | December 22, 2013 |

Whiskey chocolates? Been done. How about chocolates studded with caramel and apple cider? Lake Champlain Chocolates’ latest concoction brings in apples from Happy Valley Orchard and cider from Citizen Cider to create an all-Vermont seasonal confection sensation. These dense caramels start with silky milk chocolate and burst open to reveal intense apple pie flavor inside,…

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Review: Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat

By Christopher Null | February 24, 2013 |

Do you like apples, like Will’s blonde friend? If so, you’ll love Shock Top’s latest brew, a Belgian wheat ale brewed with honeycrisp apple cider and spices. It smells and tastes exactly how you imagine it will: Tangy apple juice on the front of the palate, then a very lightly bitter, quite sweet finish. Long…

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Review: Magners Irish Cider

By Christopher Null | September 10, 2010 |

I’ll admit that I’m not a great connoisseur of cider (hence sticking this in the “beer” category), so take my comments with a grain of salt — or a few apple seeds, perhaps. Basically juice for grown-ups, cider is essentially fermented apple juice. Magners hails from Ireland and weighs in at an average 4.5% alcohol…

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