A few weeks ago we were really fascinated by an article in Slate about hard cider, the "true" drink of early Americans. See, in those days, water wasn't safe to drink, and wine and beer weren't very common here yet. So, you know Johnny Appleseed? Those weren't eating apples he was planting.
It was an intriguing enough piece to make us very interested in this drink. The only hard cider we'd ever had had been one of those commercial types — too sweet, like fizzy, fermented apple cider.
But real hard cider, the Slate article said, shouldn't taste like apple juice any more than wine tastes like grape juice. Good hard ciders tend to be dry and complex. While they're easily available in England, this sort of hard cider is much harder to find here. Perhaps it's about the enjoy a renaissance, though — we certainly hope so!
The cider pictured above is a French cider that we enjoyed a lot; it was still a little sweet for us, but it was refreshing and food-friendly, with a sour note too. We've also tried an English cider called Aspall, which was excellent.
Do you drink hard cider? What are your favorite sorts?
Related: Rebirth of (Hard) Cider and Figs with Candied Bacon
(Image: Faith Durand)