Cider in the House
Local Author Ferments Fruity Sips—and You Can Too
If you’re like San Jose food writer and editor Emma Christensen, your experience with “hard” apple cider may have been during your college days, drinking the sweet, fizzy and boozy drink, which didn’t taste all that great. But things have changed. Modern cider is sophisticated and can be dry, tart, spicy, mellow, sparkling or still—and it’s one of the fastest-growing categories in alcoholic craft beverages.
You can try your hand at brewing some at home too—it’s the easiest DIY homebrew you can make and Emma’s book, Modern Cider, tells you how. To start, you can juice your own apples, or pick up a gallon of fresh juice at the farmers market or even buy bottled juice at the supermarket.
“Fresh-pressed juice is so full of natural sugars and wild yeast that you can practically see it start to ferment in front of your eyes,” says Emma. “Even pasteurized, store-bought juice has plenty of sugar to ferment; you just need to add some yeast purchased at a homebrew store.”
Modern Cider features 50 recipes for traditional apple ciders, as well other fruit ciders such as perries (pear cider) and those made with honey and apples (cysers). Beer lovers can find ciders brewed especially for them, in addition to recipes for soft ciders like vinegars and shrubs (vinegarbased syrups). And as a special treat for Edible Silicon Valley readers, Emma shares her recipes for Cherry-Pomegranate Cider and Basic Apple Cider below.
Cheers! Salud! Prost! Enjoy!