All posts tagged: festival

A new event happening stateside this autumn/fall – New York Cider week, October 16 – 23, 2011

Ask an American producer of hard cider ‘what’s your biggest obstacle?’ and the answer is likely to be: ‘consumer understanding.’

Hard cider is very misunderstood. Makers of real hard cider – craft cider makers who start with real apples – are generally small orchard-­‐based producers.

Already busy with growing apples, making cider, and getting their products to market, they must also dedicate an enormous amount of time to educating consumers, but the growing contingent of real cider enthusiasts is can replicate what was achieved by the craft beer movement.

During the first‐ever Cider Week, over 75 establishments in New York City and the Hudson Valley will prominently feature real (hard) cider. Cider enthusiasts can learn more at tastings, classes, and special events.
Participating restaurants include Gramercy Tavern, Marlow & Sons, PRINT, Jimmy’s No. 43, DBGB, Astor Center and Astor Wines, and 67 Wines and Spirits.
A complete list of participating venues and their promotions can be found at
Each location will feature cider in its own way with special cider lists, tastings, dinners, and more.

If you are going please get back to us with a review of the event, and your thoughts!

Wassailing is so ancient that putting a date on when it began has been lost in time.

Wassailing however has given birth to other customs such as carol singing, and wishing others good health when drinking.

The main purpose of wassailing is to perform a ceremony to protect the trees from evil and to make them bear a plentiful fruit crop in the coming year. The event involves lots of cider, singing, dancing and celebrating trees in orchards on the 12th night.

How to wassail your apple trees

The assembled company surround a tree and toasted bread, soaked in cider, is placed in the branches of the tree (supposedly for the robins). Cider is then poured into the roots of the tree.

Everyone sings to the tree:

Old apple tree we wassail thee and hoping thou wilt bear
For the Lord doth know where we may be ‘til apples another year
For to bloom well and to bear well so merry let us be
Let everyone take up their cup and drink to the old apple tree

Then everyone calls out to the tree:

Old apple tree we wassail thee and hoping thou wilt bear
Hatfuls, capfuls, three bushel bagfuls and a little heap under the stairs
Hip hi hooray!

Then a great noise is made, customarily with shotguns being fired through the branches of the tree. The wassail ceremony is very simple and short but feel free to add your own variations.

There’s a great seasonal recipe for making Mulled Cider recipe ideal for your wassail here.

More information on what happens at a Cider Wassail on the Daily Telegraph site, and at the National Association of Cider Makers.

Visit our events page for Cider events near you.