In the UK, artisanal cider is not the by-the-gallon juicy brown silt you pick up in US groceries around this time of year. Cider is alcoholic. Cider is cool. Cider is a bit cutting edge, while also maintaining strong local traditions. We recently visited the Cotswold Food Store and Cafe, where I saw a large display of local ciders that won me over on looks and cool factor alone. “Let’s be cider connoisseurs!” I exclaimed to my husband. “Let’s collect esoteric and interesting ciders from all over the region and have cider tastings!” (I mentioned that I get carried away, sometimes, right?)
Here follows my notes — as written — from my evening of cider tasting:
Prior’s Tipple – tastes like excrement and betrayal. (It was that bad, people.) 6.5% alcohol
Sheppy’s Dabinett Apple – More fizzy. Slightly more apple taste. The funk undertone — the funkertone — is more bearable. The aftertaste is pleasant. Four swigs in I’m liking it but it is going to my head. Eight swigs in and it tastes like excrement again but something about the fizziness keeps me coming back. I should make some bacon and eggs — that’s a good idea. (It was 9:30 at night, and it was a good idea) 7.2% alcohol
Old Rosie Cloudy Scrumpy – More of that apple fizz bite that I thought cider was all about. Wheeee, this is strong. Pour me another. [unintelligible] 7.3% alcohol
I hate to think that cider only tastes decent if you are half tipsy already, but that seems to be the conclusion of my taste tests so far. I’ll assume I have a lot to learn. Any recommendations for what to try next?