Reminders of autumn are rich in the air when jug after jug of apple cider spans the storefront of Wolff’s Apple House.
The seasonal lure with this sipping factor stems from the efforts of Weaver’s Orchard in Morgantown, Berks County, as the Weaver Family produces the cider Wolff’s carries each fall.
“We sell cider in pints, quarts, half-gallons and gallons,” says Fran Wolff.
He adds that the store sells between 250 and 500 bottles of cider in different sizes each week. And mulled cider is also up for grabs.
“All apples can be used for cider, but you need to be careful not to get too high of a percentage of apples like Red Delicious or Rome—they have low flavor,” says Ed Weaver, president of Weaver’s Orchard.
Some apples he likes to use best for producing cider are Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Stayman-Winesap, Fuji and Pink Lady.
Weaver references The National Association of Cider Makers based in the United Kingdom, noting that the organization’s compiled list of cider history is curious even for those of us in the United States.
“Over two million new cider apple trees have been planted since 1995 (to 2006),” the NACM website explains. “The first listing of cider presses as a source of income appears in 1230 in a Royal Charter granted to Jocelin Bishop of Bath. In the 14th century, children were baptized in cider, [as] it was cleaner than the water. In the 19th century, cider was advertised as a cure for the gout and other illnesses.”
Today, Weaver’s produces 30 to 40 thousand gallons of cider annually, with one bushel of apples translating to between three-and-a-half and four gallons.
“Apple cider flavor always peaks in late October,” Weaver points out.
One detail Weaver adds that many people might not realize is that most apple cider really has nothing added to it, which is a kind fact to know for our health!
This autumn, say cheers to season with a hot cup of simple-to-make yet easy-to-appreciate cider in the midst of what is probably an always busy schedule for most of us.
- A mug full of cider from Weaver’s Orchard
- 1 quick squeeze of caramel syrup
- A good pinch of cinnamon
- Once the cider is poured into your mug of choice, add the squeeze of caramel syrup.
- Heat the mug-ready cider to your preferred temperature in the microwave.
- Remove from the microwave; stir to mingle the caramel into the cider.
- Sprinkle your good pinch of cinnamon onto the surface of the hot cider. Sip swimmingly.