National Applejack Month
October is National Applejack Month. For those who aren’t familiar with applejack, let’s take a few moments to talk about it. Applejack is an alcoholic drink made from apples and was popular during the American colonial period. The traditional method of creating it was to ferment apples into cider, freeze the fermented apple cider, and then discard the ice.
This process increased the alcohol content of the cider and could raise it by up to four times the original alcohol content. Unfortunately, freeze-distillation leaves methanol, esters, and aldehydes in the beverage. Commercial production usually removes these using a molecular sieve.
The History of National Applejack Month
Unfortunately, we’re unable to uncover the history of National Applejack Month. That information doesn’t seem to be currently available. What we did learn, though, is that applejack started to be created in North America during the 17th century.
This is when colonists working in apple orchards made their own applejack. Although the popularity of this drink waned over the years, applejack is still enjoyed by some people.
Some Facts About Applejack
We wanted to take a few moments and talk about applejack, so we took a few moments out of our day and did some research. What was discovered were the following facts. Let’s explore them before moving on to how National Applejack Month is observed.
- Applejack can be made by “jacking” or by distilling hard cider. The latter method produces better quality applejack.
- Applejack brandy has an alcohol content of approximately 40%.
- Some brands of applejack brandy use a blend of 35% apple brandy and 65% neutral spirits.
- The oldest continuously operating distillery in the U.S. making applejack brandy is Laird & Company.
- Laird & Company started in New Jersey in 1698.
- The jacking process produces methanol. Methanol can cause blindness and death.
- U.S. President George Washington produced applejack.
- U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson gave Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin a case of applejack in 1967.
Observing National Applejack Month
For anyone wishing to observe National Applejack Month, we’d like to make a recommendation: Purchase commercial applejack. Making applejack is easy, but the homemade product can be full of methanol and other impurities that don’t get removed during the “jacking” process.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the process of making applejack safely can find more information on the Internet. However, as we said, our recommendation for those observing this month is to just buy commercial applejack brandy. To spread the news about this month, everyone is encouraged to use the hashtag #NationalApplejackMonth on social media.