Good cider is like fine wine.
No, we’re serious! Both drinks gain their favour from tannins, and the complexity and depth of that flavour increases with age. Furthermore, far from the pale yellow liquid in sad, two litre plastic bottles, cider has an ancient and illustrious history in the British Isles. In some regions production dates back as far as Roman times and this has led to the drink being an integral part of our society. According to the National Association of Cider Makers (http://cideruk.com/), as of 2017, we were responsible for an impressive 45% of global cider consumption. And just like craft beer, craft cider is on the rise – so now is a good time to get back to the apple!
Don’t be afraid of the haze!
When I went to university, I took with me a gallon of the West Country’s finest traditional cider. The first thing I was asked was ‘what’s wrong with it?’
Cloudy cider (hard cider in the US) is cider before any clarification: raw, unfiltered apple-ness that harks back to a simpler time. The haze is actually a cloud of yeast and any unfermented products in the apples themselves, which creates an uncompromising depth of flavour, and encourages drinkers to take their time and savour it.
Better than champagne?
But of course, clear, sparkling ciders have their place too, and there’s a reason their sales have vastly overtaken traditional cloudy ciders. A good, dry cider can have a crisp and refreshing taste that can rival some bubblies in flavour and hands-down beats them in price. French cider, especially, is designed to complement a hotter climate – quite similar to Perry, in fact.
Diversifying your summer stock to embrace new ciders can attract a new crowd, and continental ciders will definitely go with the Indian summer we’re expecting.