If you thought cider had been around for a while, you’d be right. Dating back to at least the Roman era in 55 B.C, cider has a long and interesting history. Now, it is an incredibly popular drink due to its refreshing fruit taste and its strong nature. With so many fruit varieties available, cider offers an option for everyone. So let’s take a look at the historical facts and origins of cider!
Although we are aware that apple trees were growing in the UK long before the Romans, historians believe it was they who introduced the production of apple cider. It is also probable that the Normans had a significant influence on the making of cider and the use of orchards, even though we don’t know the exact dates. Due to the difficulty of British weather conditions, it became difficult to continue the growth of grapes and therefore cider gradually began to replace wine.
Cider’s main ingredients of apples and water make it very dependent on its fruity flavour and therefore, about 36 apples are needed to make a gallon of apple cider. Although it is very similar to wine, cider is allowed to ferment for longer at a very low alcohol volume. Years ago, it soon became one of the cheapest and widely available drinks other than water and due to its cleanliness, it was once used to baptise children in the 14th century.
After the Normans introduced many changes, cider became a popular choice of drink. With many new apple varieties being introduced, cider soon began to hold a place in the tax records. Produced in large quantities on many farms, it was considered the drink of the people. In the 18th century, it actually became a payment method for farm labourers and they were rated according to how much they drank! In some parts of England, a farmer would receive about a fifth of his wages in cider, however payment in the form of alcohol was prohibited in 1887.
Cider In The Modern Day
These days, cider is appreciated all over the world and in particular, Ireland, Britain, France and Spain’s Basque region. Although there are more and more fruit varieties becoming available, cider is still produced by traditional apple fermenting methods and perhaps part of the reason for its popularity is its similarity to wine. In fact, cider cannot be made more than 5.5% ABV by law these days because it would otherwise be considered as wine.
Although the exact dates about the origin of cider are uncertain, one thing we can be sure about is the influence of the Romans and Normans in the cultivation of the drink.
Try a new flavour today by viewing our cider range here.