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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cider-making by Colonials

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From the very first, colonists in Virginia made their own manufactures, such as cider.  The driving force of American enterprise served to build natural resources and to establish colonies which contributed to trade abroad. During the apple season, large quantities of cider were the specialties of local taverns. Peter Marsh of York County in 1675 entered into a bond to pay James Minge 120 gallons.  Also, occasionally rent was settled with cider. Alexander Moore in his last will and testament bequeathed twenty gallons of raw cider and 130 of boiled.  Upon one particular occasion William Fitzhugh sent George Mason of Bristol (England) a sample of the colony's cider in order to compare it with the English brew. "I had the vanity," he wrote, "to think that we could outdo, much less equal, your Herefordshire red stroke, especially that made at particular places. I only thought because of the place from where it came, it might be acceptable, and give you an opportunity in the drinking of it to discover what future advantages this country may be capable of."

Sources: Records of York County, vol. 1675-84, p. 63; Letters of William Fitzhugh, May 17, 1695.

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