Cider around the world
Australians drink a lot of cider, much more than we used to when kegs of cider sat forgotten in the cobwebbed corners of bar cold rooms. We're a little slow on the uptake and many countries around the world have been enjoying the sweet alcoholic drop for centuries. Here are some of the places most known for cider, exactly where you should head if you're a fan.
Normandy and Brittany in France each have long cider-making traditions, dating back as far as the 12th Century. French ciders tend to be sweeter and lower in alcohol: cidre doux is very sweet, usually up to 3 per cent in strength, and demi-sec is 3 to 5 per cent. But cidre brut is a strong dry cider of 5 per cent alcohol or more.
Normandy also makes Calvados, a cider brandy. The perfect match if you're in Normandy is a low-strength, sweet cider, traditionally drunk from a ceramic cup or bowl, accompanied by creamy crepes.
Cider is popular across Spain, but there's nowhere quite like Asturias on the northern coast, where cider-drinking is pretty much an act of national pride. Bone-dry sidra is served by a peculiar 'throwing' method, where an expert escanciador (waiter) will pour the drink from a great height, splashing it on to the side of the glass to aerate it, giving it a mousse-like texture akin to champagne. These short measures should then be downed quickly. And often.
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The country may be world-famous for beer but the Hessen region prefers apfelwein, a still cider between 5 and 7 per cent in strength. The Sachsenhausen district of Frankfurt is almost entirely devoted to cider houses where the drink is taken neat, or diluted with water or orange juice, accompanied by local delicacy handkäse, a greasy, delicious cheese and onion concoction.
Twenty years ago, America took European brewing traditions and created its own craft brewing industry. Now it's doing the same with cider.
Influenced predominantly by the English ciders of Somerset and the three counties, but without access to the same stocks of bittersweet, tannic cider apples, craft American ciders tend to be sparkling, served chilled, and are increasingly common in Manhattan's best restaurants as a perfect low-alcohol substitute for wine.
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This article was written by Pete Brown from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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