Did you know there are more than 4,000 varieties of apples and if you plant an apple seed directly in the ground, you won’t know what kind of an apple it will produce? Most trees are grafted onto existing root stock so that the apple variety will be faithfully reproduced. You could just plant a seed – to see what might happen – and if you enjoy the apple it produces, you might be able to name the variety yourself!
Apple Cider and the resulting Apple Brandy are much the same way. You can use a single apple or mix different types of apples together, juice them, filter out the sediment, and either pitch yeast or just let it ferment naturally. Soon you will have a robust cider.
In the early days of our country, cider was king. Wineries and breweries did not exist outside of cities, along the frontier, so everyone planted apple seeds to provide food for livestock and their families. Pressing the juice was just part of being sustainable, and the best way to preserve it was to let it ferment and then store the low-alcohol cider in jugs in root cellars for cold winter days.
Apple brandy came about when the water in the cider froze, leaving the alcohol to be poured off — a very simple process that is still used today by local folks. However, to get the full benefit, many moonshiners would take that cider and run it through their stills to produce a heart-warming Apple Brandy.
for a North Carolina apple brandy try Fair Game Apple Brandy. Made from WNC apples, it is perfect for the holidays. So, next time you bite into an apple and spit out a seed, think of all the uses that come from the humble apple seed.