Cider is once again a popular drink this holiday season. The growth of cider—or rather, the comeback of cider, since cider was America’s beverage of choice during colonial times. The cider rage started about ten years ago when British chefs rediscovered this classic beverage.

Big American brewers such as Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, and the Boston Beer Company (maker of Samuel Adams) noticed this exploding British trend and quickly added cider brands of their stateside beverage portfolio. And why not – cider sales in the U.S. have soared over 100% last year alone.

But why let the beverage department have all the fun (and profit)? Cider was a popular colonial cooking ingredient and what better season could there be to celebrate traditional dishes then jolly ol’ Christmas.

Hard Cider Mussels



  • 2 lb Taylor Mediterranean Mussels
  • 2 shallots peeled and sliced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic crushed
  • 4 Sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 ozButter
  • 9 floz Good scrumpy cider or perry cider
  • ½ pt Double Cream
  • 1 oz Fresh Parsley


  1. Wash the mussels in a colander.
  2. Debeard mussels.
  3. Place the butter in a large pan.
  4. Add and sauté the shallots and garlic for one minute.
  5. Add the cider.
  6. Add the fresh thyme and mussels.
  7. Place the lid on the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mussels start to open.
  8. Add the cream and seasoning.
  9. Chop the parsley roughly.
  10. Add parsley to the pan
  11. Stir with a wooden spoon.
  12. Place the mussels in to serving bowls.
  13. Pour the sauce and onions in the pan over the top of the mussels.