When British colonists thought to bring along apple seeds when they sailed across the ocean it wasn’t to grow eating apples in their new home but to plant orchards to produce their beloved beverage—hard cider. Indeed, cider was such an integral part of British culture that a farm worker’s wages were paid in part with pints of cider until the practice was outlawed in 1887.
As a result, hard cider became the beverage of choice in colonial America. Water was usually unsafe to drink—even kids drank hard cider at meals. President John Adams touted cider’s healing properties, drinking it every morning at breakfast (yes, breakfast) to soothe his stomach. William Henry Harrison was played up as a cider-drinking, log-cabin-living frontiersman and beat Martin Van Buren by a landslide in the 1840 presidential election.