When Life Gives You Apple… Make Cider!

If you somehow missed the incredible resurgence the cider market had this past summer, you either didn’t set foot in an LCBO store all summer (I feel sorry for you), or you were trapped somewhere rustic with no connection to the outside world (I really feel sorry for you).

Whether you are a long-time cider fan or have never touched a drop, the history of this beverage is definitely interesting. According to the Craft Cider Association of Ontario, cider was one of the first alcoholic beverages produced and consumed in North America. Prohibition was particularly unkind to the drink, as prohibitionists were quick to destroy existing apple orchards in an attempt to thwart production. When other alcohol producers were able to quickly turn around product again once prohibition ended, cider producers needed five years to rebuild their orchards before they could resume business. Needless to say, cider has truly been the little apple that could.

The days of cider being reserved for tiny British pubs is long gone. This past summer, a number of innovative and craft-inspired brands hit the Ontario market with full steam. Instead of remaining a niche beverage alcohol category, the market has evolved its portfolio to satisfy all taste buds. If you have a sweet tooth, some of the most popular ciders on the market contain as much as 104 grams per litre of sugar, while some of the dryer ciders are around the 40 gram per litre mark. There are also countless flavoured apple cider and pear cider brands on the market, showcasing flavours such as citrus, blackberry, peach and raspberry. One of my favourite things about the current cider market is the abundance of local cider options we have! Ontario — and Canada for that matter — is home to some amazing apple orchards.

Now, you might be wondering why I’m talking about a beverage trend that was popular this PAST summer; I want to challenge the stigma that cider is only a summer drink. Over the next few weeks, I expect that my Facebook and Instagram feeds will include images of my friends and their families heading off to pick apples in their hunter green rain boots and cozy cable knits. I dare you to challenge the status quo and sample local ciders. I hear they go well with turkey and pie. Always pie.

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