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Immovably fascinated by the world; it's properties, people, conditions, sensations, irony,
and all the amazing moments which, whether by enlightenment or scarring, bring about permanent change.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Applejack / Hard Cider

"Applejack is a strong alcoholic beverage produced from apples, popular in the American colonial period and thought to originate from the French apple brandy Calvados. Applejack is made by concentrating hard cider, either by the traditional method of freeze distillation or by true evaporative distillation. The term applejack derives from jacking, a term for freeze distillation.

From the fermented juice, with an alcohol content of less than 10%, the concentrated result contains 30-40% alcohol, is slightly sweet and usually tastes and smells of apples. Freeze distilling concentrates all of the alcohol by-products of fermentation including ethanol, methanol and fusel alcohols. Distillation by evaporation can separate these since they have different boiling points. Due to the higher cost and lower yield of alcohol produced from fruit fermentation, commercially produced applejack may be composed of apple brandy diluted with grain spirits until the drink reaches the desired alcohol content.

In New Jersey, applejack was used as currency to pay road construction crews during the colonial period. A slang expression for the beverage was Jersey Lightning.

Slang, AppleJack is also a drink with 3 parts apple juice and one part Jack Daniel's whiskey, served on the rocks."


"Mulled cider can be made by adding 10 cloves, 1 cup of maple syrup, 4 cinnamon sticks and nutmeg to a quart of cider. Bring the cider and cloves to a boil. Add the syrup and stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour into mugs with a cinnamon stick in each and top with nutmeg. Applejack is a form of hard cider that can be made by placing a container of cider where it will freeze. A slushy ice will form on the top. Removing the top layer of ice will give you a concentrated form of hard cider. Remember when making applejack that with this drink, the alcohol content has been increased well beyond what the fermentation process will produce. Federal regulations that have been in effect since 1979 allow adult citizens to make all the hard cider they want, but the selling of this beverage or distillation to make hard liquor is illegal."


Hot Applejack Toddy
4 to 5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 ounces applejack or calvados

"Combine the cloves, cinnamon stick, and honey in a heat-proof snifter. Top with the boiling water and stir to melt the honey. Top with Applejack or calvados.

A traditional Hot Toddy is made with brandy, but I’ve also made them with dark rum. Today I thought I’d try one with applejack, making a sort of grown up hot cider. It doesn’t taste anything like cider, of course, but the applejack worked very well in this. Next time I think I’ll try sweetening it with brown sugar instead of honey. If you try this, increase the amount of sugar to maybe 1 1/2 teaspoons to get the same level of sweetness you get from honey. On the other hand, applejack is slightly sweeter than brandy so 1 teaspoon might be fine."


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