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Applejack (beverage)

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Applejack (beverage)

A bottle of blended apple brandy, along with a Jack Rose Cocktail

Applejack is a strong alcoholic beverage produced from apples, popular in the American colonial period.[1]

History

Applejack was historically made by concentrating 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.[1] The modern product Laird's Applejack is not produced by jacking. That product is a blend of apple brandy and neutral spirits.[2]

In [3] Today there are several producers including Black Dirt Distillery which distills Black Dirt bonded Apple Jack which is 100% apple brandy made in New York in the town of Warwick.

Production

Freeze distillation is a low-infrastructure method of production compared to evaporative distillation. Apples and applejack have historically been easy to produce in small quantities. Hard apple cider was an important drink in the colonial and early years of the United States, particularly in areas without access to clean water, but was often considered insufficiently palatable and bulky to store.

Rather than consume an alcoholic fruit beer, the cider harvested in the fall was often separated in the winter via freeze distillation, by leaving it outside and periodically removing the frozen chunks of ice, thus concentrating the unfrozen alcohol in the remaining liquid. From the fermented juice, with an alcohol content of less than 10%, the concentrated result contains 30-40% alcohol.

It is slightly sweet and usually tastes and smells of apples.

With easy availability of grain, metal stills, clean water, and eventually pasteurization starting in the mid-19th century, cider and applejack were gradually displaced by other beverages and liquors. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, traditional applejack acquired a stigma as a result of its association with the older production process, and was less economical to produce than some alternatives.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Black, Rachel (2010). Alcohol in Popular Culture: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: AB-CLIO, LLC. p. 10.  
  2. ^ Laird & Company. "2005-Laird apple products sell sheet". Laird & Company. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Karen Tina Harrison, Jersey Lightning, New Jersey Monthly, July 13, 2009.
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