Cider is a popular alcoholic drink made from fermented apple juice.
Though it is enjoyed in countries all over the world, it is in the UK where cider is most loved, with its bubbly, fruity character proving it as the perfect partner for the Great British Summer.
Discover our range of traditional and innovative ciders below.
Cider is created by fermenting pulped and pressed apples with wild yeast. This breaks down the natural fruit sugars and produces those all-important alcohol compounds – a very similar production style to that of wine.
In another similarity to wine, the taste of cider varies greatly depending on the type of apple that it is made from.
Traditional cider apples tend to be grown in West Country orchards and provide bold tannic tastes, while easterly counties such as Kent and Sussex use common cooking apples for a sweeter, more floral flavour.
There are a great many varieties of cider on the market, including real, sparkling, still, sweet, dry, and white or black iterations.
In recent years, there has been a huge surge of interest in flavoured ciders. Popular brands like Kopparberg, Old Mout, Rekorderlig and Magners now offer a delicious range of flavours such as Kiwi & Lime, Passionfruit, Cherry, and Rosé.
• Over 50% of apples grown in the UK are used to create cider
• Up until the 19th century, it was common for labourers to be paid in cider
• Britons drink more cider than the rest of the world combined
• In the 14th century, children were baptised in cider because it was cleaner than any available water sources
The exact period in which cider was created is unknown, but there is evidence of it being drunk as long ago as 3000 BCE. The fruity drink was enjoyed in Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, and the Middle East, with cider being made from crab apples using rudimentary fermentation techniques.
The Norman invasion in 1066 was somewhat of a revolution in cider’s history, as tannic and acidic cider apples were brought to England and new, distinctly modern orchard growing and apple pressing methods were introduced.
Cider secured its position as one of the UKs most popular drinks during the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries, as Western Europe was hit by “The Little Ice Age.” With average temperatures falling by 0.6 degrees Celsius, wine grapes could no longer be grown to the volume or quality of previous generations, while apples were perfectly suited to the cold.
Wine subsequently became a much less common drink, and thus began the reign of cider.
What is the difference between cider and beer?
While cider and beer share similar ABVs, they are very different drinks.
The two undergo hugely different manufacturing processes, with cider being fermented and beer brewed.
Cider is typically much sweeter due to it being made from fruit, whereas beer’s content of hops and yeast carries a more savoury, malty flavour profile.
Is cider gluten free?
Cider is naturally gluten free due to it being made from fruit juice, sugar, and special variety of yeast that doesn’t contain gluten.
You may want to check the label to see if a cider is made with additional flavourings that include gluten but, in most cases, cider makes an excellent gluten-free alternative to beer.
Is cider vegan?
Most cider is produced using vegan-friendly ingredients (but it’s always best to check the bottle’s ingredients before buying).
What temperature should I serve cider at?
Cider is delicious both hot and cold. Simply drink it straight from the fridge or heat gently in a pan for a delightfully warming treat.
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