THE REVIVAL OF AMERICAN HARD CIDER — sales have roughly doubled in each of the past three years — has spawned a bumper crop of artisanal cideries in Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and other apple-growing states. But not in New Jersey.
That’s not right, considering New Jerseyans were among the first in the New World to ferment apple juice into hard cider and distill hard cider into applejack. America’s oldest distillery, Laird’s, has been making applejack in Colts Neck since the Revolutionary War, to cite just one example.
“New Jersey was known for its cider and applejack, to the point that New Yorkers called New Jerseyans ‘apple-knockers,’ ” says drinks historian David Wondrich, editor of the soon-to-be-published “Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails” (Oxford University Press, 2016). “You said apples to a New Yorker and he thought, ‘Jersey.’ [Read more…]