Every dog has its day, and cider is sexy this summer. It makes a great stocking filler too - here are some suggestions
Cider is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks on record - it wasn't unusual for English farm hands to be partly paid in cider as recently as 100 years ago. Made from freshly pressed then fermented apple juice, it can range from seriously sweet to drought dry. It can be naturally sparkling (Normandy method), or flat and cloudy (farmhouse scrumpy) and almost anything in between.
Cider has had a bit of a revolution in the UK, with great British brands like Aspall and Thatcher's popping up over this side of the world. New Zealand is still catching up, but there are some really classy cider's on the market made from home grown fruit. Here are some suggestions for the cider lover in your life:
Monteith's Crushed Apple Cider
A smooth, full-bodied and fruity cider, not too sweet, pressed on the West Coast from 100% NZ apples. Serve over ice; perfect with blue cheese or gouda.
Old Mout Hard Cider
Giff and Wanda Tait began making cider in Nelson in the '60s, and it developed a cult following among students and fruit pickers. In 2006, two blokes called Justin and Scottie who used to drink Old Mout in their youth bought the struggling business determined to make it a success. A whole heap of hard work, a lot of passion and some great new products have seen the business take off - this is a cider worth trying.
Mac's blood orange and cardomom or chilli and lime
Flavoured ciders are usually high in fruit and sugar. Mac's flavoured ciders aim to offer something different. The tart bite of blood orange and the bitterness of cardamom, or the undeniably magic mix of a chilli hit with a hint of lime both pair well with their crisp apple base, and are also great in cocktails.
Honesty Box pear cider
Pear cider, more commonly known as Perry or Poiré in the Northern Hemisphere, is produced in the same way as cider but is often sweeter. Honesty Box pear cider is made with the same great pears you might find at the farm gate. Smooth, light and with a dry finish, this is a perry that will appeal to many.
42 Below Apple Jacks ginger jive
Cut with iconic 42 Below vodka to balance some of the natural sweetness of Apple Jacks cider, ginger jive also has a long spicy ginger finish. A great BBQ cider.