Fall is a great time of year; beautiful foliage (perfect for Instagram pics, of course), large comfy sweaters, football, and a reason to pull out the L.L. Bean Boots. The best part however, is the apples. You can never go wrong with a nice glass of apple cider.
Whether it's a refreshing warm cider on a brisk fall afternoon or a crisp cold cider for the sunnier days, apple cider is a delicacy that tastes best in the fall. It also tastes best fresh from an apple cider mill.
At the Clinton Cider Mill in Clinton, NY, they make their succulent cider on-site using local apples. And the process can even be viewed by customers on the weekends. I went with a club I am a part of called Slow Food, and we were given the low-down on how the process works.
The process starts by washing the apples using the green machine pictured below. This machine washes the apples and then they are ready to be pressed.
Once washed, the apples are brought over to a big crate. Just look at all of those apples. Fun fact: The Clinton Cider Mill uses many different types of apples to make their products.
The types of apples used to make the cider will be displayed on the cider dispenser behind the counter. Each time you order cider it will most likely taste different because there will be different types of apples used to make it.
Now we get into the juicy stuff (yes, pun intended). The apples are moved from the crate and into this very large machine that sits in the apple cider mill.
The apples are shimmied up the arm...
...Into another compartment where they are squished. The squished apples (called "cheese") are then dropped into an area where 10 layers of cheese are stacked. The stack is then moved to the juicing portion.
The 10 layers of cheese are squeezed and the juice is extracted.
The juice is then filtered and sent through the tubes that are fastened to the ceiling. The juice goes through the tubes and into large tanks, where they are filtered again, and then the juice flows into the containers behind the counter, ready for purchase.
To see this intriguing process in person, make your way over to the Clinton Cider Mill and if you want to hear more about this process all you have to do is ask the friendly staff to explain to you what is going on. Also, enjoy some apple cider while you learn. You can try it hot, cold, or even as a slushie!
While you are there, make sure to try all of the other great products the apple cider mill has to offer. They have their infamous apple cider donuts, pies, muffins, cookies, maple syrup, honey, apple butter, and much, much more.