Drink up with Susy Atkins

There’s a cider out there for ev­ery­one, and the new breed are good enough to re­place wine on your ta­ble. Was­sail!

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - GOOD TASTE -

I can’t imag­ine any­one more en­thu­si­as­tic about cider – proper, qual­ity cider – than Su­sanna Forbes. As founder and au­thor of drinkbri­tain.com, the writer found her­self in­creas­ingly drawn to the Here­ford­shire cider scene. So, in late 2014, she upped sticks with her hus­band James and headed there to buy a house ‘with a beau­ti­ful lit­tle or­chard’, near Brom­yard. The cou­ple duly set up their Lit­tle Pomona Or­chard & Cidery (yes, cidery is a word, rather won­der­fully).

Now, as her first ciders come on to the mar­ket, Su­sanna has found time to write an ac­ces­si­ble but im­pas­sioned guide to the sub­ject. The Cider In­sider (Quadrille, £12.99) comes out on Thurs­day and serves as a paean to the au­thor’s favourite pro­duc­ers around the world. There are 100 hand-se­lected craft ciders, and the com­pelling story be­hind each one – not only the many dif­fer­ent ap­ple va­ri­eties and meth­ods of pro­duc­tion, but vivid snap­shots of the peo­ple and places that cre­ated them.

Bri­tain gets a good look-in, of course, but in­ter­na­tional ciders do, too. The Amer­i­cans, she says, ‘to­tally get the aspi­ra­tional side of mak­ing fine cider, not just aim­ing for re­fresh­ment, but also for com­plex­ity, blend­ing, bal­ance’. Su­sanna aims for fully ripe flavours in her ciders, and has a 75cl ‘shar­ing bot­tle’ size, as do many these days, bring­ing a cider pur­chase more in line with wine (and with prices to match). Su­sanna’s book cer­tainly makes this wine lover want to dive into a draught. It’s a cider in­spirer, for sure.

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