Hi, my name is Kathryn and I like cider.
Unlike our self-styled ‘Beer man’ I dislike the taste of most other types of alcohol, particularly beer, and struggle to find a nice wine (although I shall roll up my sleeves and continue to try).
But with cider – I love the taste, and through a voyage of discovery have encountered some of the most thirst-quenching, syrupy and flavour-bursting delights I always dreamed a drink would actually taste like. Because more often than not, due to some fancy colourings and enigmatic bottle designs we have all been pawned off with more than a few duds. All for rather over-inflated prices may I add.
So here’s my list of some of the best ciders available – now we just need the sun to come out. And STAY out.
Without stating the obvious, no list of top ciders would be complete without good aul’ Magners. Whilst the plain flavour is absolutely gorgeous, (and even better is available in a ‘light’ option)
My favourite range is undoubtedly the Magners Specials range.
A premium sub-brand from the house of Magners, featuring crafted cider blends with indulgent flavour combinations such as Ginger and Pear, Spiced Apple and Honey or Spiced Rhubarb and Apple, all 3 of these are stand-outs. Their eclectic tastes mean they hit the spot whether you’re curled up on the sofa in front of the fire on a cold winters night, or equally at a summer barbecue.
…Or you could go with Pear, or Orchard Berries for a summery twist on your usual cider staple.
If you have not tried Hooper’s Cloudy Lemonade then you need to stop what you’re doing and get some. Now.
Equally scrumptious and ideal for summer is the Dandelion and Burdock, Strawberry and Elderflower, and Ginger.
Rekorderlig premium cider is born and brewed in Sweden, and stocked in a wide range of bars and supermarkets and is definitely one of my all-time favourites. Born and brewed in Sweden, this premium cider is stocked in a wide range of the UK’s favourite bars and supermarkets. Responsible for driving growth in the fruit cider industry – and for good reason.
Alongside such flavours as pear, apple, strawberry- lime, wild berries, apple-blackcurrant, orange-ginger, mango-raspberry, and peach-apricot (all of which taste AMAZING) one of the most recent recruits – Passionfruit, is the ideal summer drink. Sainsbury’s often have good ‘3 for 2’ or similar deals also, which helps keep the cost down while allowing you to make your way through the copious options. Result!
I am a particular fan of Aspall Cyder. Particularly the Premier Cru Cyder. It never fails to please if someone asks for a recommendation, and is a real crowd pleaser. It’s also easily available throughout most bars and bigger shopping shopping centres throughout Belfast.
Stella Artois Cidre is definitely in need of a mention in any top list of ciders. Not only is the original flavour crisp and fresh, but they’ve even expanded into more flavours after their undisputed success at launching into the cider market. Peach, Raspberry and Elderflower look set to be huge best-sellers, especially due to the beautifully designed, attractive cans, adding a more feminine dimension to your typical can of cider.
Carson’s Crisp Armagh Cider and Maddens Mellow Armagh Cider owned by Armagh Cider Company tastes fantastic and is locally brewed.
Owned by Philip and Helen Troughton of Ballinteggart House, outside Portadown, the Troughton family have been growing apples there for four generations since 1898.
These drinks have the personal touch, and it shows in this luscious drink.
Summer Sweet Cider by Tempted? Irish Craft Cider introduces a significant proportion of Tipperary bittersweet cider apples to medium sweet cider made from Armagh’s crop.
Added to this is a generous measure of pure pressed apple juice to make a light, refreshing Irish cider. Great served cold, with food or on its own. This is one to try.
MacIvors Cider is delicious and refreshing. Made from using juicy apples from their own orchards in County Armagh.
When the apples are ripe, they are picked, before natural yeasts are added. Then they wait. Slow cool fermentation locks in the rich fruit flavours.
This has been rightfully dubbed ‘a drink to lift the soul!’