American Cider: A Modern Guide to a Historic Beverage

Dan Pucci and Craig Cavallo. Ballantine, $18 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-98482-089-1
Sommelier Pucci and food journalist Cavallo impress in this deeply researched account of the history of apple cider, its emergence in colonial America, and how there came to be nearly 1,000 producers of it across the country. Cider’s earliest roots, they write, can be found in Greco-Roman culture, with records of production dating back to 64 BCE. Norman conquerors brought the craft to England in the 11th century, and centuries later it found its way to the colonies, where it came to embody “the best and worst of America’s history and agricultural practices.” Thomas Jefferson, for instance, learned to make cider from his enslaved cidermaker and butler, Jupiter Evans, and during the Revolutionary War, George Washington’s troops wiped out apple orchards planted by Indigenous peoples who sided with the British. As to the production of cider itself, the authors note, “Cidermaking is more analogous to winemaking, relying only on a seasonal harvest and then fermentation.” A survey of contemporary producers rounds things out, with notable operations including Angry Orchard in Walden, N.Y., which collaborates with other producers across the globe, and Liberty Ciderworks in Spokane, Wash., whose signature Manchurian Crabapple SV Cider is blended with a small amount of McIntosh and Cortland apples. This fascinating guide will appeal to history buffs and imbibers alike. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 11/20/2020
Release date: 03/02/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9848-2090-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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