Friday, October 2, 2009

Making Fun Of Men Who Drink Cider Is UnAmerican

Hard cider currently enjoys, at best, a so-so reputation in the United States. Ordering cider at the bar will lose you macho points almost as quickly as ordering a Shirley Temple. You might as well ask the guys at the bar around you to kick your ass and then politely thank them for it.

It's a travesty that cider isn't held in the same regard as beer, for cider is delicious, it does not dull the taste buds as many beers do, and it packs quite the alcoholic punch, usually just as much as beer. So where did this beer is better than cider idea come from? It's my belief that cider (along with many other good drinks) actually tastes too good to be taken seriously. After all, real alcoholic beverages are supposed to be difficult to drink, right? Beer is good, and I probably prefer it to cider, but let's be honest, beer's an acquired taste. The first beer you had as an underage youngster didn't taste all that great. Nor did the six-pack of Natural Light you sucked down every night during college.

And liquor is even more of an acquired taste. Downing a shot of whiskey or scotch or tequila, even over ice, is rough going despite however many years you've been drinking the stuff. However, in that strange universe where machoism meets masochism (coincidence those words are so close?), the tougher to drink, the better the liquor.

The good news is, this anti-ciderism seems localized to the United States; across the pond, cider is an acceptable, often preferable, alternative to beer. Why is that the case? I don't know, but it's time cider got the recognition it deserves. It's time we returned to our roots. Today, I came across this great article on Slate.com. For you Yanks out there that scoff at the notion of cider being an acceptable drink for a man, scoff no more, ye bastards, and the next time you're at one of the few bars in the States that offers a cider on tap, drink up, admit to the error of your ways, and repent.

As it turns out, cider was the "favored beverage among America's founding generation." Yes, men like George Washington and John Adams enjoyed this great drink, and apparently, in great quantities. Revolutionary war soldiers drank it to fortify themselves between battles. Children enjoyed a diluted version called "ciderkin." The Slate article does a great job at exploring the history of cider in America, so I won't rehash it all here. Instead, I'm going to issue this call to arms. I'm going to be so bold as to declare this America's first War On Anti-Ciderists. It's time we resurrected our forgotten American tradition of drinking lots of cider and imbibe this fabulous concoction the way the founding fathers did. And as it was the drink of the original patriots, I think it appropriate here to propose this amendment to the US Patriot Act:

"To enhance patriotism and bolster the sense of community in these United States. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled that,

TITLE XI - The Consumption of Hard Cider

Sec. 101

Henceforth all Americans, males included, shall be lauded for drinking hard cider and encouraged to do so on a daily basis.

Sec. 102

Any individual who maliciously and wantonly ridicules any individual for drinking hard cider shall be subject to criminal and civil penalties, including five (5) years in prison and up to $1000 in fines for each offense."

Please impress upon your friends and family the importance of this proposed legislation. We will need all the help we can get to have this enacted. And make sure to drink cider whenever you get the chance.

28 comments:

Nathanael Green said...

Brian,

I'll drink (a cider) to that!

seana said...

This is the best amendment to the Patriot Act I've ever heard. However, I think there should be some sort of parole review board for those who have changed their ways and started drinking cider witht their prison fare...


I'm hardly worried about getting macho street cred, but I think I associate the word cider with sweetness, and even though I know that hard cider is drier, there's an associative quality about it. Any dry ciders you'd care to recommend?

Brian O'Rourke said...

Nate,

Thanks for coming forward and admitting to being a cider drinker.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Seana,

Good point. Though I wonder about the consequences of allowing prisoners to drink alcohol while incarcerated...

The wife and I enjoy Bulmer's and Strongbow very much. Speaking of Strongbow, the wife and I practically stumbled across his tomb while in Dublin but the name of the church it was in escapes me right now.

But I did find this article about the possible genetic link between Strongbow and George W. Bush.

seana said...

That was a fascinating article, Brian. I'm not sure if genetics means anything in the course of our last president, but it's kind of fun to ponder.

Given my own political sensibilities, I suppose I should opt for the Bulmer.

You never know--prisons might be better places if there was a bit of grog. At least it was good enough for sailors, who couldn't have been all that much more well-behaved than prisoners.

Nick Hughes said...

I LIKE this post!

Nathanael Green said...

An anecdote from when my wife and I were visiting friends in England:

When I ordered a beer and she ordered a cider, she got a few raised eyebrows from our friends. They told us that it's more common for men to drink cider because it's usually got a higher alcohol content than beer, and therefore is considered a manly drink often ordered when someone's looking to get pissed.

When I told them how in the US it's more manly to not drink things that taste good, they just said, "Sure it is ... enjoy your beer, tough guy."

Brian O'Rourke said...

Seana,

Not sure what you like to drink, but I can't praise cider enough. Admittedly, some of the American stuff can be too sweet, but even that's a nice change of pace every once in awhile from beer.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Nick,

By all accounts, you are a very patriotic man.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Nate,

Nice story. It makes you wonder where these ideas came from, and it goes to show how ridiculous some of our conventional thinking can be.

Thinking more about it, though, there's a limit to the rule that something must be unpalatable in order to be considered good. For example, Natty Ice and Beast are awful-tasting beers, but by drinking them you don't win any brownie points from anyone. To the contrary, people tend to wonder why you're imbibing them.

So I've oversimplified the issue, as usual.

marco said...

I thought "Making Fun Of...(insert category)" was quintessentially American ;)

Ordering cider at the bar will lose you macho points almost as quickly as ordering a Shirley Temple.

A Shirley Temple? Roman Polanski's favorite cocktail?

but let's be honest, beer's an acquired taste

I don't know what you're talking about.

I'm disgusted by all of you
treacherous beer betraying cider drinkers. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Brian O'Rourke said...

"I thought "Making Fun Of...(insert category)" was quintessentially American ;)"

You, sir, are treading on dangerous ground ;)

NICE slam on Roman Polanski! It amazes me how quickly all these other Hollywooders have come to his defense. If Polanski had not been a famous director, I doubt he would have received the same support.

Brian O'Rourke said...

And Marco, I will drink a cider to your health whenever I next imbibe.

adrian mckinty said...

love me some cider. used to drink a lot of it in the UK where it is not considered unmanly.

In the west country of England its even the "national drink."

When I was at Oxford I used to go to a pub that made its own scrumpy

Nathanael Green said...

Adrian,

It sounds like I need to make a return trip to England to try some scrumpy!

Brian O'Rourke said...

Adrian,

Scrumpy sounds both delicious and manlier than cider. Maybe if we just change the name of cider in the States to scrumpy...but according to Nate that wouldn't work.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Nate,

I'm with you. Let's convince a publisher to pay us to tour the world and try all the local alcholic drinks so we can write a "travel" book about it.

seana said...

Scrumpy sounds like it might be a good name to market under in Brooklyn.

adrian mckinty said...

Yeah two more things to add about scrumpy - its usually served at cellar temperature which means cold but not freezing and second its bloody delicious.

seana said...

Huh. I wonder if that's where the word "scrumptious" comes from.

adrian mckinty said...

This was a big hit in the 70's in the UK cide drinker

Peter Rozovsky said...

I raise a Bulmer's, a Magner's and a Strongbow to you.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/</a

Brian O'Rourke said...

Adrian,

Nice linkage there.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Peter,

And to you, sir. As it turns out, I was in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize for my proposed amendment to the Patriot Act. I didn't know at the time I wrote this post, of course.

But when they announced the latest winner, I found out I was in the running, since it appears you don't really have to do anything to win the award, all you have to do is propose and support popular ideas. Bah-zing.

Corrie said...

If any of you would like to try dry cider from true cider apples, email me! We'll get you some Farnum Hill Cider, made at Poverty Lane Orchards in Lebanon NH. Thanks for the post Brian...we love it up here at the Orchard. Let me know where to send you some cider!
Corrie (CiderGalNH)

Brian O'Rourke said...

Corrie

I'd love to try some dry cider! What's your email address?

If you don't want to give out your email publicly, mine is:
montecristo42@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

i know this post is 3 years old, but let face it ... cider has grown big time since 2009..........bring it on i say ... more cider the merrier....and yes, I am using a word often associated with xmas time, because I can ! love me cider!

Anonymous said...

Drink a stout, IPA, a craft beer. Beer is not an acquired taste if you get the right beers. Switch from bud light to a nice dogfish 90 and see if this so called "cider" compares to a REAL beer. #craftbeer#pffftcider