Cider is one of the unsung heroes in America’s alcoholic beverage industry. It’s both cheap and easy to produce. And it’s also just plain tasty.

So why don’t we see more cider in bars in the U.S.? Why don’t we see any cider bars for that matter?

  1. Cider Was America’s First Alcoholic Beverage

    Cider first landed in America in the 1600s. English settlers were the first to make this sweet-tart beverage in the new world and used New England apples to do so. You think today’s cider craze has blown up in the past few years? It was even more popular back in the 17th century than it is today. The reason? It embodied the beverage popularity trifecta: it was easy, cheap and tasty. Pair that with the fact that it was the safest beverage of the day (see No. 8), and you’ve got a recipe for one a popular alcoholic drink.
  2. Cider Apples Aren’t Really for Eating

    Apples used to make cider generally tote some pretty adorable names. Who wouldn’t want to take a bite out of a Foxwhelp, Honeycrisp and Brown Snout? Yet, we would advise you to take a beat before taking that bite. The apples used to make your favorite cider are much tarter than the ones pressed into apple juice. That’s because the ideal acidity for cider happens to be much higher. It’s also why many ciders blend the juices of sweet and tart apples.
  3. Cider Was Used for Baptisms

    OK, stick with us on this one. Literally. A cider baptism just. sounds. sticky. Amirite? Yet, sticky is better than toxic. Back in the 1300s, much of the water (even the holy variety) was riddled with bacteria. The alcohol in cider killed the germs and kept baby safe during the baptism.
  4. Cider Could Be the Answer to Longevity

    The next time your friends give you side-eye for sipping a cider before noon, just remind him that John Adams used to drink a “gill” of cider every morning in college. Not only did Adams become president, but he also lived to the ripe ole age of 90.
  5. Temperance Nearly Destroyed Cider

    If cider was America’s go-to alcoholic beverage for centuries, what the heck happened between then and now? Why don’t we find eight taps for cider and just one for beer at a bar?
    Cider’s first moment of decline happened during the temperance movement in the U.S. Since this liquid gold was so popular and cheap to make, it was an obvious target for super critics of alcohol. So much so that the movement targeted apple orchards, burning them to the ground. All those adorable cider apple varieties were almost completely destroyed.
  6. 30 Apples Go Into One Pint of Cider

    If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, 30 must result in a change of name, address and phone number. And it’s also the minimum number of apples to make it into just one pint of cider.
  7. New York Produces More Cider Than Any Other US State

    It’s probably no surprise (considering cider’s history) that New York has more cider manufacturers than any other U.S. state. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Empire State produces the best cider in the country. Just sayin’.
  8. Cider Was Used as Medicine — and Was Safer Than Water

    Back in the olden-timey days, water wasn’t the safest substance. In New York City throughout the 1800s and well into the 20th century, both beer and cider were considered safer than water. Many cities had serious problems with overcrowding. Before the construction of the Croton Reservoir in Midtown Manhattan in the mid-1800s, the main source of drinking water was the Collect Pond — which had formed a small island of garbage and was flanked by a slaughterhouse, brewery and leather factory.
    So yes, it was safer than water. And thanks to its alcohol content, was used to cure some ailments back in the day.
  9. Cider is Categorized as Wine in the US

    The process of pressing and fermenting cider has way more in common with wine than that of brewing beer. So much so that the U.S. government often categorizes cider as a wine. Since this drink is so embedded in our history, it’s no wonder that many Americans replace wine with cider on their Thanksgiving tables.
  10. November 18 Is National Apple Cider Day

    Need another reason to drink cider? Have a pint November 18, which also happens to be National Apple Cider Day!

While cider isn’t America’s most popular beverage, it’s certainly one of the alcohol industry’s most underrated rising stars. Whether you prefer your cider with breakfast or to ensure your water remains free of bacteria, one thing is for certain: you can’t beat the taste and effervescence of this historic golden drink.