…from the California Happy Hour Bar
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Hard ciders have been around for centuries. I’m sure that ciders were enjoyed by the ancient Romans and Greeks. The first recorded references to cider dates to 55 BCE when Julius Caesar found the Celtic Britons fermenting cider from native crabapples. The people of northern Spain were making sidra before the birth of Christ.
But when did they get so angry? According to Angry Orchard, the name comes from the fact that the very best apples for cider-making look, well, angry. When they started exploring orchard after orchard across the U.S., Italy, and France, they found that the best cider apples were nothing like the ones you'd find at the grocery store.
Crisp Apple, the flagship product from America's best-selling cider brand, Angry Orchard, is 5 percent ABV—the same as a Budweiser. Meanwhile, Vermont's Shacksbury, a more artisanal cider brand, cans its craft ciders at 6.5 percent ABV, getting into IPA territory.
With little to no added sugar, beer is the undisputed winner in the health category. It typically has less carbs than cider which makes it slightly healthier, even though the number of calories remains roughly the same. Regardless, it is a fun ingredient for a new age cocktail.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 cocktail
5 ounces Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
1 ounce white rum
3/4 ounce lime juice
2-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 strawberries (you can substitute any other seasonal berries that are available)
2 cups ice
ChefSecret: Britain drinks more cider than the rest of the world combined. But it's not the only country with a long, unique, and endearingly eccentric cider-making tradition. About 20 years ago America took European brewing traditions and created its own craft brewing industry. Now it's doing the same with cider. Influenced by the English ciders of Somerset and the three counties, but without access to the same stocks of bittersweet, tannic cider apples, craft American ciders tend to be sparkling, served chilled, and are increasingly common in Manhattan's best restaurants as a perfect low-alcohol substitute for wine.
Quip of the Day: An Irishman, Englishman and Scotsman go into a pub and each order a pint of Guinness. Just as the bartender hands them over, three flies buzz down and one lands in each of the pints. The Englishman looks disgusted, pushes his pint away and demands another pint. The Scotsman picks out the fly, shrugs, and takes a long swallow. The Irishman reaches in to the glass, pinches the fly between his fingers and shakes him while yelling, “Spit it out, ya bastard! Spit it out!”
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