Cider is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from the unfiltered juice of apples. Cider alcohol content varies, generally, between 3% and 8.5%, but some continental cider goes to 12% ABV. In UK law, it must contain at least 35% apple juice (fresh or from concentrate).
Celts in Britain made cider from crab apples as long ago as 3000 BC, but it was the Romans who introduced apple cultivars and orcharding techniques to England. After the Normans invaded in 1066 cider-making was improved by their introduction of tannic and acidic cider apples. They planted orchards and brought advanced pressing technology with them.
By the beginning of the fourteenth century, cider was being made in almost every county in England as far north as Yorkshire. As agriculture and market gardening increased during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, so did orcharding and cider-making on a commercial basis. Soil conditions and climates in counties such as Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Somerset suited apple cultivation perfectly, and even today the West Country is the leading cider-producing region in the UK
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