Pretty much every drink has a rich history; but cider is on another level in many respects. During 55 B.C, cider was pretty much the drink of choice during the reign of the Romans. Nowadays we know that drinking all that cider isn’t going to end too well but back then they had an excuse, didn’t they?
While cider might not be the champion of beverages as it was back then, we can still see that it has many fans today. It’s still an incredibly popular drink after all. While it’s often thought to be a somewhat bitter drink, cider does come in a range of flavours including soft, sweet flavours as well.
You’ll be sure to get a refreshing fruity taste with every sip and there are flavour options to suit all tastes. But how did we get from humble apples to a refreshing pint of cider? Well let’s take a look at cider’s history and origins in more detail, shall we?
The Origin of Cider
While the exact origin of cider is a little debated, it’s strongly believed that it was the Romans who created and introduced the way we make cider. What we do know though is that cider was (and in many ways still is) one of the most popular in the UK. After all, grapes were not exactly easy to grow in the UK due to the weather, so cider quickly became the main alternative to wine.
Today cider is available in many more fruity flavours, but the traditional apple cider is still the most popular type on offer. The way cider is made also hasn’t changed much over time as the main ingredients in classic, traditional cider are still made from apples and water and it follows the same principles as the winemaking process.
In fact, by law, cider can’t be made with no more than 5.5% ABV; if it rises above this level it will be classed as a wine instead. While cider’s popularity has gone through peaks and valleys over the years, records show that it was at one of its most popular levels around the 18th century.
Cider farms proved to be very popular around this time and it was even used as a form of payment for some farm labourers as well. In certain parts of the UK it wasn’t unusual for a labourer to get around a fifth to a quarter of their pay in the form of cider.
Of course, this was prohibited in 1887 but for some time payment in the form of cider was somewhat commonplace. That isn’t the only usual bit of cider’s history either in the 14th century it was sometimes used in baptisms!
Cider still remains very popular today, especially in the UK, France, and Spain. More unusual and quirky fruity versions of cider have also become popular in places like America and even Japan. Although if you are in Japan make sure you don’t confuse it with Japan’s more lemon based fizzy drink which is also called cider.
Still made using the same apple fermenting methods as it was many centuries ago, cider has remained a popular drink and one with a very rich and surprising history. It parallels wine in many ways and while it has and is indeed still evolving the classic more traditional apple cider it is something I think we’ll still be seeing many years from now.