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To the liquor store! oh, wait, it's only 6:30. I'll wait. This sounds like the perfect post thanksgiving treat with the cousins.

I'm a big fan of ciders! To your list, I will add that at least one British citizen actually apologized to me for letting Blackthorn cider out of the country, calling it a "shocking oversight," (it was truly awful) and Crispin makes a cider stout (the mind boggles) that drinks a bit like Guinness, only cider, if that makes any sense.

Will definitely have to keep an eye out for some of those apple brandies...

Those who wish they had a Wal-Mart in Humboldt should be forced to live in towns that got that "dream" and quickly realized the true nightmare. It's very much like the teenager who needs to wear the same clothes as her peers to show her individuality. You become indistinguishable in the crowd.

I agree that Humboldt (or any town) should capitalize on what makes it special, focus on what draws people there. A good apple cider or apple brandy would certainly help pave the way.

Oh - and it baffles me that men actually think that women don't like beer. Maybe not that lightweight mass-market swill, but a give me a well-crafted porter or stout and I'm a happy girl. Most of my six sisters will back me up on that, too.

We make about 25-50 cases each of hard apple and hard pear cider in our tiny winery most years, and they are very popular. The apples we use are: Gravenstein, Cox Orange Pippin, Melrose, Mutsu, Calville Blanc d'Hiver, Northern Spy, Spartan, and one unknown type, from a tree that accidentally came with a big order of other trees. Some ideas why hard ciders aren't more prevalent: it's a wine-making process, so breweries may not have the equipment or skillset; and even among wineries, processing the apples and making the ciders require different or modified equipment than grape winemaking does. Also, I think a winery license is required, which is another layer of bureaucracy that breweries may not want to get involved with.

One of the things I've always loved about apple cider is the variation out there--there are so many different types of apples, each with their own personality! And each batch is different from the last.

I'm not much of a cider drinker (beer, scotch, gin, and vodka for me, thanks) but for local-ish ciders in Northern California I've typically gone with Two Rivers. That might have as much to do with their presence at every brew festival I have attended, but hey, they are local!

I'd be happy to just have an apple cultivar like growing in the lower south!

What an great post and I hope it inspirits many to produce Hard Cider in Humboldt it could be a second cash crop (job retraining for those alternative herb growers hee hee )

I want to know just who the Journal asked regarding "women not liking beer" . . . my sister and 2 nieces and I beg to differ!
I think Humboldt Co needs to take advantage of the wonderful breweries in the area - how about "Brew Tours" for tourists like they have in the wine country.

I agree with one of the comments above. Being a resident of California, I too am partial to the locally produced Two Rivers Cider. Unlike the same comment, however, cider is usually my beverage of choice rather than beer, scotch, etc.

I’ve also attempted to make my own apple cider with an old family recipe but I don’t ever seem to get it quite right because it usually comes out much too tangy.

I fancy making some home made Calvados.

Have you any recipes for this ?


Wow, this takes me back 40 years, to my farming days, when we gathered a few bushels of windfalls, pressed them, and put the results in a couple of milk cans. Which went down into the root cellar, and were forgotten in the frenzy of Fall harvest.
Six weeks later we had a sparkling wine that slid down the gullet like velvet, and gave you a kick in the pants that I still remember. The month of November passed in blissful disarray!

Celine, you'll need a pot still, and a Google search will set you on the path, to either buy or make one of your own.

My SIL has a cider press and put away (in the freezer). Perhaps experimentation my be in order.
I just tried hard cider for the 1st time and bought a mixed case of Woodchuck though I liked the Granny smith the best. I do appreciate your advice and have found one (alas they do not sell out of state) in Virginia by Foggy Mountain(?) that sounded tasty. I'm trying to convince my sister who lives in VA to bring some of the VA ones to Wisconsin for Christmas.

My friend is planting so many fruit trees he'll never be able to eat all the fruit. I was encouraging him to plant fruit he can sun dry and eat all year, and nuts. Now I'll encourage him to plant a few apples and make some cider :-)

Have you tried Julian Hard Cider from the apple area east of San Diego? - it's pretty darn good - crisp and tangy. Let me know if you'd like me to send you a bottle for a taste off (I'm only a consumer, no affiliation)

Amy - I've no idea how far you are on the book yet, but if you haven't yet done so, check out Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. They are based in Philadelphia, and have come out with three liquors - Root, based on an old recipe for root beer; Snap - ginger-snap flavored; and Rhuby - Rhubarb flavored. Root in particular has lots of botanicals in it. All three are delish!

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