In the UK, summer is synonymous with drinking cider but we Brits still love to enjoy it all year round. Often on hot weekends, you see many Brits outside their local pub or in the park (yes it’s generally legal to drink in a park) with a bottle or pint of their favourite cider.
Typically made from apples, cider is normally an alcoholic drink although there are non-alcoholic versions. It can be made from many fermented and crushed fruits. For example there are good pear ciders (traditionalists call this “perry”) around. The alcoholic versions vary in strength from about 4 percent to over 17 percent! Most are in the five to seven region.
Choosing the right cider comes down to taste. There are a number of styles, which vary based on the type of apples used, the other flavours added such as different fruits or spices, and how long it’s been fermented and aged. The two standard styles of ciders are modern ciders and heritage or traditional ciders (made from traditional apples). These can be further split between fruit ciders, hopped ciders, spiced ciders, wood-aged ciders, sour ciders and ice ciders.
But with all these great choices, what are the top British ciders to drink? Here are our top recommendations:
Hallets Real Cider, 6%
The first on our list is a Welsh cider, made 100 per cent from Dabinett apples. It blends vintage cider with the current year’s to create a lively and fruity drink. It is soft and creamy but still has a bit of a kick. This cider matches very well with some oily cheese.
Oliver’s Stoke Red Fine Cider Still, 5.5%
Another great choice, Oliver’s crafts its cider in small batches, fermenting the juice with wild yeasts. All the fruit is chosen very carefully and must not contain any chemicals or sprays. This cider is very still and doesn't have any bubbles. It’s a little sweet but not overpowering, and has a small acidity to it. It's best served very chilled.
Fowey Valley Castledore, Medium Dry Cider, 6.5%
Fowey Valley latest cider is a true delight. Lightly carbonated and mixed with both sweet and sharp flavours, they have created a sour but easy to drink cider. At 6.5% it is the strongest on our list.
Kent Cider Company Blend 23, 6%
Our final cider comes from Kent, an area famous for orchards and apples. This company only uses very rare apples although it's a secret exactly which types of apples goes into it. It has a slight sweet taste and is non-carbonated meaning it goes down very easily. It's delicate and fresh, and a great drink to spit and enjoy on a beautiful day.
So there you have it, our top delicious ciders to try at home but don't forget, also have a number of secret ciders to enjoy on our London Bridge Food Tour (with some top -British cheese pairings). We highly recommend you check that out as well.