Apfelwein with Bembel
|Country of origin||Germany|
|Ingredients||Granny Smith or Bramley Apples|
Apfelwein ([?apfl?'va?n] Germany, apple wine), or Viez ([fi:ts] Moselfranken, Saarland, Trier, vice) or Most ([m?st] Austria, Switzerland, South Germany, must) are German words for cider. It is made from a mix of sour tasting apples, such as "Bohnapfel" or "Speierling", respectively. It has an alcohol content of 4.8%-7.0% and a tart, sour taste.
Apfelwein is also regionally known as Ebbelwoi, Äppler, Stöffsche, Apfelmost (apple must), Viez (from Latin vice, the second or substitute wine), and saurer Most (sour must, Süßmost or sweet must is essentially apple juice). Instead of the name Äppler, restaurants and smaller manufacturers may instead call the beverage Schoppen or Schoppe, which actually refers to the measure of the glass.
In the Frankfurt area, berries from the service tree (Sorbus domestica) may be added in small quantities to increase astringency, in which case the specific type of Apfelwein is called Speierling. In modern times, the term Speierling is often also used to refer to any more sour variety of Apfelwein, even if it lacks any juice of the service tree.
Apfelwein is made from pressed apples. The juice or must is fermented with yeast to produce an alcoholic beverage usually around 6% abv. It can be made with the addition of the unprocessed juice from the fruit of a small, indigenous tree known as Speierling (Sorbus domestica) or Speyerling, an endangered species that is easily confused with the wild apple.
Apfelwein is mainly produced and consumed in Hesse (where it is the state beverage), particularly in the Frankfurt, Wetterau, and Odenwald areas. It is also found in Moselfranken, Merzig (Saarland), and the Trier area, as well as the lower Saar area and the region bordering on Luxembourg. Several large producers are located in these regions, as well as numerous small, private producers which use traditional recipes. Some of the most famous restaurants where Apfelwein is served are in Sachsenhausen (Frankfurt am Main). Some of these regions have regular cider competitions and fairs, in which the small, private producers participate. Cider songs are composed and sung at these events. The Merzig region crowns a "Viez Queen", and the lower Saar area a "Viez King".
Apfelwein is served in a Geripptes, a glass with a lozenge cut that refracts light and improves grip--a holdover from the past, when some meals were traditionally eaten without cutlery. Traditional Apfelwein restaurants serve a "proper" 0.30-litre (10-oz) serving, although some establishments may also have a 0.25-l or 0.50-l version of the glass. A Geripptes filled with Apfelwein is also called a Schoppen.
Most establishments also serve Apfelwein by the Bembel (a specific Apfelwein jug), much like how beer can be purchased by the pitcher in many countries. The paunchy Bembel (made from salt-glazed stoneware) usually has a basic grey colour with blue-painted detailing. In the Eifel region, near Hunsrück, around Moseltal, along the lower Saar and in Trier, the drinking container is called Viezporz and consists of white porcelain or stoneware.
Hot Apfelwein is commonly taken as an old household remedy against colds, or as a warming beverage in the cold season. The Apfelwein is heated and served with a cinnamon stick, possibly with cloves and a slice of orange, much like mulled wine.
An official Viez route, (Route du Cidre) connects Saarburg with the border to Luxembourg. An annual Viez Fest is celebrated in Merzig. The date is usually the second Saturday in October.
CiderWorld / Frankfurter Apfelwein Messe
CiderWorld takes place annually end of March/early April at the 1870 https://www.gesellschaftshaus-palmengarten.de/ within the Palmengarten in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. It was created in 2008 as "Apfelwein International" by Michael Stöckl and in 2009 was renamed into Ciderworld. Ca. 2015 it was decided to admit producers of related products: wines and sparkling wines from other fruits than apples, champagnes, fruit spirits, fruit liquors, cider cocktails. Related specialties like jellies, chutneys, pestos, salts, spices, also specialist literature and accessories. Information about orchard meadows with old species of apple- and other fruit trees, initiatives to save them ec. are also part of the fair. Currently it has about 100 exhibitors and ca. 2500 visitors. It is considered the largest fair of its kind in the world. CiderWorld'20 / Frankfurter Apfelweinmesse is scheduled for April 18/19, 2020 (#ciderworldfrankfurt #ciderworld #apfelwein #cider).
CiderWeek precedes CiderWorld by one week with local events (around Frankfurt) at local venues / producers in restaurants, bars and speciality shops with tastings ec. There is even a "Weltapfelweintag" (world applewine day) which is celebrated annually June 3 as part of the ciderworld fair.