08 October 2010

mr. cornelius applejack

While we are fortunate enough to have illustrated directions for making our own apple jack, we decided to go the easy route and swing by a local apple orchard, family farm and distillery to pick up a bottle.
"Since colonial times, traditional applejack was made by freezing barrels of hard cider during the long winter months, then tapping and removing the alcoholic center. This was a powerful and harsh liquor, since it concentrated all of the alcohols — both good and bad.  Since we carefully distill Cornelius Applejack 3 times, our version offers a smoother, more satisfying take on this American classic."
We mixed a little bit in with our regular apple cider and enjoyed it outside with fresh cider doughnuts 'cause we're ciderfreaks.  Ciderfreaks.  Each bottle is made from over 60 pounds of fresh applies grown right outside of the distillery.

This got me thinking about good ol' John Adams and his daily drink of hard cider.  The only hard cider I've tasted has been of the sugary, bubbly bottled variety and I have a hunch that they aren't quite the real deal.
"Most Americans now consider cider—if they consider it at all—to be in the same category as wine coolers or those enigmatic clear malt beverages: chemically suspect, effeminate alternatives to beer. And who can blame them? America's mass-market ciders are comically weak and inexplicably fizzy. Many are made not from cider apples but from the concentrated juice of eating apples, which is a bit like making wine from seedless table grapes." 
- Slate
Do you drink hard cider?  Have you ever made your own?  Would you come to a Colonial America-themed costume party where I serve cider and we curse the Redcoats?  Catch another discussion about hard cider over at The Kitchn


  1. Just enjoying the last gallon of cider from our farm now. Really wanted to try to make applejack this year, but didn't have enough apples. I have tons or pears though, so maybe "pearjack?"

  2. I was thinking of you and your cider press when I wrote this! Pearjack... intriguing. The Harvest Spirits distillery makes a pear brandy, but I haven't tried it.

  3. Most cider these days is pateurized, which totally changes the flavor and texture of the drink. We get our cider at Bartlett's Orchards in Richmond Mass. Made and sold the old fashioned way. Can't beat it!

  4. I might need to swing by there this fall for an authentic glass of cider...

  5. Huh, never tasted this or even heard of it! Guess we don't have anything like it in Norway... But I do drink apple cider!

    Have a lovely weekend :)

  6. Dave and I bought some awesome fruit wines on our tasting expedition. So good! You should stop in sometime and enjoy it with us!

  7. Perhaps without even knowing it you ciderfreaks created what I've been asking Harvest Spirits to bottle: An American Pommeau.

    I love the Cornelius, and I'm so glad you found it.

    The important thing about Harvest Spirits is that each batch is different. Sometimes they will be sampling from two different batches, and if you happen to be there on one of those days, you can taste how this batch distillation and bottling works in practice.

  8. Hey there, I know this post is pretty old, but thought I would comment on it. I am one of the distillers at Harvest Spirits, and am glad you enjoyed our product and decided to share it!

    We have been experimenting with a lot of different things, one of which is Pommeau. We are always open to ideas and suggestions, so if anyone wants to come in and talk to us I would greatly encourage it.

    Thanks, and have a happy holiday season.


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