|New England Drinks, Wine to Cider|
|New England is as famous for what it doesn't (or didn't) drink as for what it drinks.|
Some old-time New Englanders still call carbonated soft drinks "tonic," and the neighborhood food shop where you buy a tonic is a "spa."
Each New England state has somewhat different laws regarding the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. More...
Though New Englanders' taste in drinks is largely the same as that of most Americans, there are some specialties and peculiarities.
In the autumn, fresh apple cider (non-alcoholic) is the beverage of choice throughout the region.
Cranberry juice, from berries raised in the bogs of southeastern Massachusetts, is usually mixed with sugar or other liquids to ease its tartness.
Maine's Poland Spring water is now bottled and shipped throughout the country. Aquafina, the water bottled and sold by Pepsico, and Dasani, the Coca-Cola Company's bottled water, account for one-quarter of the $15 billion of bottled water sold annually in the USA. All this water comes not from mountain springs but from the "P.W.S" (public water source— municipal pipes) in the town of Ayer, Massachusetts.
Craft beer makers and brewpubs are to be found throughout New England. largest and best-known is Boston's Samuel Adams, but other companies supply local beers in nearly every city and region.
Despite its rocky soil and uncooperative weather, enterprising New England vintners have identified hospitable micro-climates for the culture of hybrid and vinifera wine grapes. You should definitely sample the vintages offered by New England vineyards and wineries. More...
New England's small family farms, prosperous in earlier centuries, are hard put to complete with the agribusiness of the 21st century. One of the ways they make ends meet is to produce small quantities of artisanal spiritous liquors: fruit and grape brandies, hard ciders, ice ciders, etc. Mostly sold locally, with limited distribution, some of these can be of surprisingly high quality. Don't be afraid to try them.
—by Tom Brosnahan