There is a great deal to know about apple cider and its history for centuries past. Even better, as a drink we adore so much during our autumn holidays, it’s interesting to learn the many different uses for apple cider that we use today. You know quite well that it is available as both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage, but there are many more delicious uses of apple cider that have come about through centuries of development.
Originally made in the foothills of Central Asia’s Tien Shan Mountains, apple cider made its way around the world over the course of hundreds of years. Primarily an alcoholic drink made by fermenting apple juice, It comes in a variety of iterations. These include still, naturally sparkling, carbonated, dry, sweet, ice cider, cider brandy, and many more.
As far back as the Roman Empire, ancient Greece, and the Middle East, with the name coming from the Hebrew Shekar or Greek Sikora meaning ‘strong drink.’ There is evidence that Celts in Britain made cider from crab apples as long ago as 3000 BCE, but the Roman invasion introduced apple cultivars and orcharding techniques to England. As the Roman occupation ended, cider cultivation became even more common in Britain.
Coming from all types of apples, cider made its way to Great Britain where it is most commonly used today. Britons are the biggest consumers of cider per capita and fifty-six percent of apples grown in the UK go to make cider. At its best, cider is made of 100% freshly pressed apple juice, fermented slowly for months, and then aged, often in oak barrels, for months (if not years).
While this continued for centuries, many other options for the use of apple cider have come along as well. It is used in many different recipes, obviously of which would be drinks and cocktails like Apple Cider Slushies, Harvest Mimosas, and Apple Cider Long Island Iced Tea, just to name a few. Other interesting autumn recipes that involve the use of apple cider include pumpkin butter, an alteration of apple butter; caramel stuffed cookies, and apple cider glazed chicken.
With all of these being only a few cooking and drinking options, there are limitless choices for the use of apple cider in your Thanksgiving dinner and other holiday menus this fall. It never hurts to try something new!