Keeping the Harvest – Apple Cider

Apple cider with Ambrosia apples

Apple cider is available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. Apple cider has a long-standing history, and recipes have been passed down from generation to generation.

The earliest documented use of apples in cider production was in 1300 BC in the Middle East. It is also historically recorded that apple cider was prized among The Romans throughout the Empire.

Interestingly in medieval Europe, apple cider was a popular beverage and was often consumed as a safer alternative to water, which was often contaminated. Apple cider was also believed to have healing properties and therefore used for medicinal purposes.

By the 1700s, cider production quickly became popular in the colonies as European settlers arrived.

In the 1800s, cider’s popularity declined as other alcoholic beverages became more widely available. Prohibition in the United States in the 1920s hugely upset the cider industry, and many orchards were destroyed or converted to other crops.

Recently there has been a renewal of interest in apple cider, especially within the craft and artisanal sectors. Small-batch cider makers experiment with different apples and techniques to create different levels of sweetness and flavours.

Apple cider can be a versatile cooking ingredient as well. Taste of Home shares 50 uses for apple cider here:

We also have a recipe to share with you so that you can enjoy a non-alcoholic version of Ambrosia apple cider with the whole family:

This recipe serves 2 – 3.We’re using whole and fresh spices, but you can replace them with dried herbs if you don’t have fresh herbs.

Spicy Ambrosia Apple Cider Recipe


  • 4 cups Ambrosia apple juice
  • 3 – 4 cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp ground seeds)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 1″ chunk of fresh ginger, sliced (or 1 tsp of ground ginger)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (to taste, optional)
  • 1/2 medium lemon

Put apple juice in a small saucepan and bring it to a low simmer. Be careful not to let it boil. Add all spices to the pan and simmer for a few minutes. The longer it simmers, the more intense the spice flavours. Remove from heat and add the juice from 1/2 a lemon.

Strain into mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a fresh slice of Ambrosia apple.



Ambrosia Apples