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Cider is joining you for an aperitif!
Resulting from the fermentation of the first apples in antiquity, in the Middle Ages, cider became the favourite drink of the kings of France and England. Cider in England is a favourite after-work tipple, but French cider is still struggling to bridge the gap with wine. Young houses and major institutions are now giving it a new lease of life by launching a variety of formats and flavours. Drinking it just with pancakes and burgers is a thing of the past, cider is now being enjoyed at the beginning of the evening!
Brief overview of cider.
Composed mainly of the juice of crushed apples, cider is first and foremost all about fruit. The quality of the fruit plays a decisive role in its flavours during tasting. Monovarietal cider or blends, from apples from one or more orchards, gathered or picked directly from the tree... these are the parameters defined by the producer that will determine the fruitiness of its aromas, or whether they have floral or spicy notes.
Another important stage in its production: fermentation. Subject to the action of yeasts, the sugars naturally contained in the juices are progressively transformed into alcohol, thus making it possible to obtain a variety of ciders, ranging from sweet to dry. A sweet cider, containing more than 35 grams per litre, will thus be obtained from a short fermentation.
On the other hand, cider with a longer fermentation will be more alcoholic and will not exceed 28 grams of sugar per litre.
Whether ‘sidre’ or flavoured ciders, small and large houses are in competition.
In France, Brittany and Normandy stand out for their unique expertise, as evidenced by their AOC labels*. All of them meet precise specifications, guaranteeing in particular the use of local apples, used according to very controlled production methods.
Subscribing to this process of quality, former sommelier Eric Bordelet has thus created his own range of exceptional ciders that he has called ‘sidres’. These vintages, offered in top gourmet restaurants, are made from apples harvested directly from the tree, which is sometimes a hundred years old.
By reappropriating cider production methods, Eric Bordelet is one of those daring producers who knew very early on how to harness all his potential.
Today, young brands such as the Appie house are following suit, helping to renew its image. As H. Gerbal, the brand’s co-founder, explains,“By offering quality ciders made of 100% pure squeezed juice, we aim to break the codes and show that we can make very good ciders at accessible prices. » Drawing inspiration directly from the traditions of beers, Appie offers its entire range in 33-cl format, a format which works particularly well as an aperitif. “Cider has become an obvious alternative to beer, as it is both fruity and less bitter. Our goal is to discover the full range of possibilities, to participate in this change of mentality so that consumers rediscover cider where they did not expect it”.
Whether cocktails or flavoured, cider is being reinvented
Cider is currently only enjoyed in its simplest version, either flavoured or in a cocktail. According to Claude Jakymiw, our Drinks & Beers expert, the success of Kystin’s pear cider Black Kalysïe is proof that cider has become a party drink in its own right. Made from pears, ginger and vodka notes, it has established itself as a firm favourite on the tables of Moscovites.
With tastes ranging from honey to grapefruit and peach, cider is reinventing itself with a new palette of flavours which is capturing an ever-growing market. These flavours also meet the expectations of customers who are curious and keen to experience new tastes. “At La Grande Épicerie de Paris, our offering has expanded considerably and now includes about twenty references. Our customers are looking for different products that are more elaborate and less sweet, to drink as an aperitif. Pear cider is also benefiting from this resurgence of interest and is finding its place on many tables.”
Out tasting tips
Whether for tasting or after a meal,
cider is best consumed ice cold.
For a simple yet delicious aperitif with friends, opt for regional specialities with frank, generous flavours. Dried sausage with free-range pork, crunchy shortbread with herbs or andouille and monkfish terrine make a great match with the floral and acidic flavours of dry ciders. Sweet cider can be paired with certain seafood and raw fish sushi.
With the return of the fine weather, think about including it in your cocktails, with the simple addition of peach shavings and sliced grapes.
Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health. Consume with moderation. Drinking alcoholic drinks when pregnant, even in small quantities, may have serious consequences for your child’s health.
* AOC : Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (protected designation of origin)