Fizzy Favorite

After long neglect, hard cider makes a comeback

Back in the days when Ida was sweet as apple cider, the reference was not to the sweet juice but to the gently fizzed hard stuff--about 6% to 8% alcohol, refreshing and delicious. That's right. Forget beer; from colonial times to the early 20th century, hard cider was the American buzz of choice. Thanks largely to the efforts of Judith and Terry Maloney, a woodsy, sixtysomething couple, cider has staged a comeback.

The Maloneys' path to cider was accidental. On a road trip in 1972, their car broke down in the sleepy town of Colrain, Mass., near the Vermont border. It...

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