America’s craft beverage industries have witnessed unprecedented growth over the past decade. Craft beer is the one that receives the most talk, but the business of beer and its artisanal renaissance is not alone in the world of crafted drink. There has also been a strong resurgence in cider and the products and people behind the growth are the subject of Tasting Cider: The Cidercraft Guide to the Distinctive Flavors of North American Cider, a book written by Cidercraft magazine Editor in Chief Erin James.
From Orchard to Glass
Cider has a rich history in the United States and Tasting Cider presents the early days of cider making, from the cultivation of apples to the legend of Johnny Appleseed and beyond. The education continues with background information on the different types of apples, the cider making process, and the proper way to taste and evaluate. Once the basics are covered, Tasting Cider introduces the reader to different varieties of ciders such as orchard- based ciders, dessert ciders, hopped ciders, barrel- aged ciders, and more.
Cocktails and Crafted Food
Ciders are great all by themselves, but much like craft beer lovers have discovered with beer, ciders are also delicious in mixed drinks. Tasting Cider serves up about 40 pages of cider- based cocktails, ranging from the simplistic King Crimson to the more complex Queen City Cobbler. Each drink recommends specific ciders and liquors, but readers are, of course, free to experiment with their own, favorite brands. The book wraps up with a full section dedicated to cooking with cider, including everything from appetizers to main courses, all the way to dessert, with recommending cider pairings for each.
Raise Your Bottle
Tasting Cider is an educational and informative book about a craft beverage on the rise in the United States and around the world. Author/editor Erin James provides a glimpse inside the industry, its past and present, and the people responsible for the cider resurgence we see today.
This guide covers many aspects of cider and most anyone who reads will come away from the experience with newfound knowledge. I, for one, did not realize how many different varieties of apples existed and I didn’t know much about perry and other cider- related beverages. Tasting Cider sets you straight, explaining these and other cider topics as it strives to educate the reader on this fascinating beverage.
Probably my favorite part of Tasting Cider is the individual profiles. It is here that the reader gets to know the people behind the product; the craftsmen and craftswomen who built cideries and now dedicate their lives to perfecting their products. You get to know these people on a more personal level and gain a better understanding of their cider- making philosophy and the reasons why they love making cider as much as they do.
Here at Great Beer Now, beer is still our first love, but we do have a growing appreciation for other crafted beverages and cider is certainly one of them. As I turned each page of this book, I not only felt my knowledge base growing, I also developed a greater appreciation for the work that goes into each bottle and can. And with so many illustrations, I also felt myself getting thirsty. I wanted to stop what I was doing and head to my local liquor store to see if I could track down some of the specific brands highlighted in this book’s 277 pages.
Ciders are on the rise. Like the craft beer and craft spirits industries can attest, the public is growing ever- demanding of artisanal beverages and will no longer settle for mediocrity. Palates continue to mature, and consumers want only the best. Tasting Cider is an excellent guide to this ancient beverage and its growing presence in bars, restaurants, and homes across the United States and the world. Read it, learn more about cider and its influence, and get your hands on a bottle or two of crafted cider. You will be pleasantly surprised and intrigued at what this adult beverage offers and what this book can teach you.