Although real cider can be consumed year-round, it is particularly popular in the summer months and has a number of benefits:
Visitors want to drink local cider, as it is part of the rural landscape.
What is Real Cider: a natural refreshing, alcoholic drink made by crushing locally-sourced apples, then fermenting the juice over several weeks/months. When fermentation is complete the resultant cider is dry. It may then be sweetened by adding sugar, apple juice or artificial sweeteners. Each cider is unique given the mix of apples used.
Cider Cocktails: A particularly enjoyable way to consume cider in the summer months is to dilute it or mix it with other beverages. These can prove very popular and it is often up to the pub to decide what works for them. Some ideas:
Cider Sangria - based on semi-dry cider, sweetened with a little Grand Marnier and Harleston ice cider. Some grated fresh ginger perks up the mix. Add whatever fruit is locally available and serve with ice.
Apple Zest – fresh orange juice bolsters the fruity flavour of cider with ginger liqueur providing added spice.
Stone Fence – dates back to the colonial era. The easiest version is equal parts cider and rum.
Snakebite – half a pint of lager mixed with half a pint of real cider.
Black Velvet – half a pint of cider (poured first) topped up with Guinness layered using the back of a spoon.
Ginger Fuss - 25% cider, 25% dark rum, 50% ginger beer + ice and a lime wedge.
Cider Lime Cooler - 4 parts cider, 1 part lemonade, 1 part lime cordial served with slice of lime and ice.
Rosie Red - fill cocktail shaker with ice, add 50ml cranberry juice, 25ml fresh orange, 25ml vodka and shake till chilled. Strain into ice-filled glass and top up with real cider.
Cider Shandy – equal parts cider and lemonade served with an apple slice.
Berry Special - half-fill a tall glass with ice, add 4 parts cider to one part blackcurrant cordial, stir, and enjoy.
Cider with Food: Cider compliments a number of foods. The East Anglian ciders are particularly good with pork, fish, pizzas and cheese. In the winter months, cider is also pleasant if it is mulled with added spices (e.g. cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg) or served as a hot toddy with cloves, ginger, lemon juice and honey.
Wassail! – olde English for ‘be you healthy’ said when toasting cider.