We choose our fruits carefully. We spend time with each of our farmers going over when is the best time to pull the fruit at its extreme ripeness, especially for our apple cider vinegar. If possible, we participate in the harvest. This relationship is very important to the overall quality of the fruit harvested and to the great quality that results in our shrubs, tonics, cocktail mixers and bitters. You might say its “farm to bottle” at its best.
Step two in the process is the cleaning and freezing of the fruit. We make sure there are no damaged, mushy, or moldy fruit. We clean carefully, and then flash freeze. The old timers didn’t have freezers, but this modest improvement in the process allows us to extract and preserve at low temperatures creating amazing flavors, amazing body, and equally amazing nutrition.
The apples are the core of the process (forgive my slight pun). Vinegar production requires attention to so many important details. The riper the apples the better more full body the apple cider vinegar. The longer the apples ferment the tastier and healthier to final product. We work very closely with our apple suppliers and our vinegar maker. We make sure that ‘the mother’ is present in every bottle of shub and tonic we produce. ‘The mother’ is the community bacteria composed of aceto, lactic, citric, and malic bacterium, that are the very species of microbes that your body uses in your gut and body biome.
We also use several varieties of apples grown on northern Seneca Lake to make our apples shrub varietals including heirloom crab apples. In the picture shown is our Jonamacs getting ripe in the latter days of summer. We also harvest crimson crisp apples up near Sodus NewYork. They have great body, thick tasty skin, not a great in hand eating apple but oh my the shrub is delightful. Also we have a cox orange pippin, an old english cider apple, that will be shrub ready in late spring 2020.
Between the Finger Lakes, Western,and Lake Ontario regions over 15 million bushels of apples are grown annually. A large portion are made into cider, cider vinegar, and other apple preparations. The glacial soils, cool(not super cold mind you) winters, even moisture, and experienced growers create the perfect conditions for apples. We are thrilled to support them.
Look for more articles here in the future about our apples.