From dry and hazy farmhouse style cider, complete with the cloudiness of the apple, to light and refreshing sparkling cider in a mix of curious flavour combinations, there is no simple way to describe the taste of English cider.
Whenever people are looking to buy cider today, they can have as much variety as when choosing a bottle of wine. Traditional cider is made from fresh pressed apple juice full of natural sugars which is left to ferment, similar to how wine was made using natural yeast.
But these days, the best ciders in the UK use local Somerset cider-making apple varieties known for their high quality and balanced taste. Choosing a good cider can be as tricky as buying quality wine. Sometimes you end up with cooking wine when you really wanted a crisp Chardonnay.
The complex flavours of cider
The mix of cider apple varieties used account for the different flavours and tones found in the finished cider. Cider can mean different things to people. So, while it can taste sweetly of apples to one person, to someone else, they enjoy drinking cider for the sharp, acidic edge that pleasantly cuts through their thirst on a hot summers day.
Some love dry, sparkling ciders and others love the trendier flavoured ciders that come in a range of popular or nostalgic flavours, just like the Brothers Cider range that features classics like Cloudy Lemon, Rhubarb & Custard, Pink Grapefruit, Red Apple, Strawberry & Lime, Honeycomb, Marshmallow, Toffee Apple Cider, and more...
The base flavours of English ciders come from the bittersweet apple varieties sourced from traditional cider orchards. These varieties are grown explicitly for cider-making and some are believed to be centuries old native apple varieties.
Brothers Cider use a combination of apple varieties to strike the right balance of bitter and sweet. We mainly use apples from Somerset Orchards that are just a few short miles from our cider mill. The cider apple varieties we use are high in acids and tannins, including Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Harry Masters, Somerset Redstreak, and Browns Apple. You may want to read our piece on the 'Five of The Best Apples for Cider'.
The growing popularity of cider
Cider is now becoming a drink for the connoisseurs, and has always been a great match with food. The broad appeal of modern cider transcends all class barriers and is a perfect mix of old cider-making practices with a modern take on flavours and blends.
To put it simply, cider appeals to everyone – from discerning drinkers enjoying a glass on its own or pairing it with food to a growing audience choosing the wide variety of cider flavours over more traditional drinks such as beer and lager.
But what does cider taste like?
Again, this isn't an easy question to answer. Because ciders can be still, naturally sparkling or carbonated, the first impact on the tongue can deliver a different first taste. Ciders can be fresh, crisp, tangy, sweet, bold or elegant, earthy or light – or a complex combination of all taste sensations and lingering after tastes.
If you choose one of the Brothers fruity flavoured ciders, then your cider will be laced with the delicate fruit extracts used to create a brand new flavour dimension.
The true diversity of flavours that run through cider can be subtle or strong, and it can be said that there will be a flavour of cider to suit everyone – even those looking for alcohol-free cider who can still enjoy the extravaganza of taste and flavour that is Cider.