Sugar Loaf’s Favorite Spirit – Applejack

May 4th, 2014 | By | Category: Sugar Loaf BLOG

The Barnsider Tavern presents Blackdirt Apple Jack

The Barnsider Tavern invites you to stroll through Sugar Loaf in the year 1798 with thanks to Donald M. Barrell for his book Along the Wawayanda Path, The Black Dirt Distillery, Eliza Benedict Hornby’s Under Old Rooftrees edited by Sue Gardner, and Rebecca Orchant of the The Huffington Post. Sugar Loaf has a long colorful history. The village is on the “Wawayanda Pathe,” a very old native Indian trail that runs parallel with the southern boundary of the Wawayanda Patent, once claimed by Rapigonick, Wawastawaw, Moghapuck, Rumbout, Clauss, Chuckhass, Cingapaw, Oshasquemonus, and Quilapaw native Americans.

Applejack as American as Jazz and Baseball

Early Sugar Loaf was known for its applejack-serving taverns like Seely’s Sugar Loaf Hotel where shows, elections and Justice of the Peace’s hearings on squabbles were held. Here, an old-time fiddler sawed away until the wee hours as the floor boards squeaked and the building rocked in harmony. These old fellows needed considerable strong refreshment to keep going before heading home to milk the cows. Most likely, the applejack came from the nearby black dirt region which was home to dozens of applejack distilleries. Sipping applejack, which is brandy distilled from apples, was once our nation’s most popular way to imbibe. The fabled Johnny Appleseed was the spirit’s spokesman. In Sugar Loaf, poke-berries soaked in old applejack were freely taken for rheumatic troubles.

A traditional wedding here in the year 1798 had one-hundred-fifty guests at the ceremony. Six pigs and twelve turkeys were roasted for the feast. Generous neighbors lent a helping hand by baking three hundred rusk (a piece of bread browned by re-firing and sometimes sweetened) in the Dutch ovens of near-by farmhouses. Branches of fresh evergreen, interspersed with branches dampened and rolled in flour until snowy white, were used to trim the wedding room. The merry party danced till four o’clock in the morning with plenty of peach brandy, cider, and, of course, applejack on the sideboard.

Applejack was a favorite spirit in Sugar Loaf and its surroundings. Today, Black Dirt Distillery carries on this local tradition with a 100% apple brandy aged a minimum of four years in new charred American oak barrels. The Barnsider serves Black Dirt Applejack, much like taverns of old. For the past 35 years, the Barnsider has been providing friendly service in a comfortable tavern atmosphere. A warm and cozy place to have parties, meetings and large gatherings with a rustic touch, the Barnsider Tavern invites you to come visit with friends and without reservation.


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