Think Different – Cider Is Not Apple Beer

Imagine this bar scene. Customer (me in flippant mood) ‘May I have a pint of wine please?’  Response: ‘We don’t serve wine in that size measure’.  I summon my best pantomime attitude and chorus ‘Oh yes you do!’

Cider is apple wine not apple beer but it is served in the same increments of imperial pint measures as beer. Consequently it is devalued by the majority of drinkers and has long had the reputation of being merely the rough stuff consumed in a white lightning flash on a park bench with the sole aim of getting blathered.  And yet cider is the reason that Champagne exists. In the mid -17th century Somerset cider makers experimented by adding sugar to still cider to create bubbles through a secondary fermentation.  Merchants in London were inspired to do the same to wine and lo and behold, what was hitherto seen as a fault by French vintners and known as le vin du diable, became a popular drink prized for its nittiness as fizziness was then known.

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In Defence of Booze

We regularly see these headlines:  BingeDrinking Out of Control in Britain; Millions Of Middle-Class Drinkers Putting Health At Risk With Evening Tipple; Binge Drinkers Make Town Centres No Go Areas.  News outlets never splash the good news about alcohol do they?  Because there is good news about booze and has been for the thousands of years that humans have consumed it.  Most people drink moderately and neither they nor society suffers ill effects.  So for the majority of sensible drinkers I want to celebrate the gift of alcohol and all the benefits humans have gained from it.

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Just What the Doctor Ordered

‘Wine is a food, a medicine, and a poison it’s just a question of dose’ Paracelsus, a Swiss physician, wrote that in the early 16th century.  His observation could apply to all alcohol not just wine because in moderation it is beneficial to physical and mental health.

How often do we hear someone say about a drink that it is ‘for medicinal purposes only?  We laugh and respond ‘Any excuse’.  And yet throughout history alcohol has been used knowingly and sometimes unwittingly as medicine.

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