Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Natural, Magical Apple Soda

If I had to be stuck on a desert island with only one book, it would be a book about how to escape from a desert island. If I could bring only one record, it would be an audio recording of the book about how to escape from a desert island. And if I could bring one movie, it would be Citizen Kane. Duh! But if I could bring one foodstuff, it would be slightly fermented apple cider.

Cider that has just begun to ferment is a natural, magical tonic complete with god-given bubbles and a flavor that thoroughly trounces sweet, flat cider, or even soda for that matter. I'm not talking about hard cider, which I also love, but which I wouldn't want to drink at all hours of the day as I do this stuff, which I drink like it's going out of style.

And it is. When people buy cider and it gets a little fizzy, they usually throw it out. But that's when you should throw it in (to your mouth, that is). Cider that has begun to ferment has a tang that makes it complex and balanced, so much so that I don't even touch it until I see bubbles forming. I drink a small glass as many times a day as I think to, and doing so always reaffirms my decision to be alive. Maybe it's the probiotic content forming a power block in my brain that says "we have the majority by several billion, and we say keep truckin'."

To make it, buy cider that has no preservatives and, ideally, isn't pasteurized. It will work with pasteurized cider without preservatives, but come on. What's good for fermentation is good for you. Leave this out at room temp with a cloth tied over the neck of the container to keep out fruit flies, or dust bunnies. When you see bubbles, start quaffing. Wait too long and you'll have cider vinegar, which really isn't such a bad worst case scenario.

It may not help you escape a desert island, but it would certainly enhance your stay.

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Matt said...

Cool. How long does it take for the cider to get to this stage of fermentation?

Aaron Kagan said...

It really depends on your taste. Depending on the weather (the warmer it is the faster it generally happens), you'll get a little fizz within a few days and it will just keep getting stronger. I like it after about a week.

Matt said...

Thanks! I've got some local Hudson Valley cider fermenting on the kitchen counter right now...

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