Tast­ing notes

Esquire (UK) - - Style -

Sweet or dry?

Like wine, resid­ual fruit sug­ars will hugely af­fect the fi­nal taste, and there is a scale of bit­ter­ness on top. A dry cider (no added su­gar) may make your cheeks pucker if made with bit­ter­sweet ap­ples, high in tan­nins and acid­ity.

Cloudy or clear?

De­pends on the ap­ples and their pectins. Tra­di­tional ciders will be dry and cloudy due to an ab­sence of su­gar, which some mak­ers use to clar­ify the liq­uid.

Still or sparkling?

Cider is still un­less dosed with su­gar at its se­cond fer­men­ta­tion. The process of keev­ing (more pop­u­lar in France) cre­ates fizz with no ex­tra in­gre­di­ents: the pulp of very tan­nic ap­ples is mac­er­ated for 24 hours prior to a slow fer­men­ta­tion.

Any old ap­ples?

Pretty much: vir­tu­ally any strain will make cider. Bona fide cider ap­ples are bit­ter­sweet (with great names like Foxwhelps) but are not worth eat­ing. West Coun­try mak­ers use them most. Else­where, com­bi­na­tions are of­ten used.

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