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