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Bugs

Cider disappointment - are sweeteners normal?

I am rather fond of the odd drop of cider...but recently two of our purchases have turned out to be sweetened with something. One was a bottle of "Autumn Scrumpy" which we noticed, only too late, that it said it contains "sweetener" - very vague. It's put me completely off drinking it to be honest.

And I now have a bottle of "Single Orchard" cider from A Major Retailer Whom You Won't Like which turns out to contain Invert Sugar Syrup (that's like golden syrup, right?).

Naively I always thought cider was cider...apple juice made alcoholic. Obviously I am going to be a lot more careful with labels in the future but am I being completely old fashioned or is this a nasty new trend.

(Recommendations for nice ciders, on the dry side, most welcome. Purely for research purposes you understand).
Chez

Your best bet is to sample local farm gate ones. PM me a slightly less vague location and I'll see if I can recommend anyone.

We use Sheppy's, near Wellington and Pixford, near Bishop's Lydeard. With both of those, you turn up with your own container and they draw it off on tap for you.
Bugs

Ooh, we had a very nice bottle from Sheppys a few weeks ago. I may have to see if we can combine that with our journeys back to un-Civilisation or other explorations. Thanks!

Still a bit perplexed by the idea of sweeteners though Confused
12Bore

Bulk ciders are often quite nasty, supermarkets will buy in from these factories and label as their own. Try craft ciders from small producers, using carefully selected apples. Of the bigger "proper" manufacturers, try Thatchers or (my fave) Henry Westons 2009/2010 Vintage 8.2% or Weston's Organic. Lovely stuff Beer
12Bore

Or Aspalls Suffolk Draught Cyder (in bottles).
All of the above are even better when you find them on draught. Wink
Bugs

Trouble is that the one with the vague "Sweetener" is actually, to my knowledge, meant to be a reputable local supplier.

I'm not all that surprised at the supermarket one but just generally at the whole concept; I thought cider was cider, a bit like beer, generally, is beer Confused

I do like Aspalls. Not so keen on Westons in general. It may be back to patronising Mr Majestic at this rate!
Nick

You'll be expecting strongbow to contain apples next.
Chez

Still a bit perplexed by the idea of sweeteners though Confused


I think, as 12bore says, it's a commercial thing. They ferment out to dryness and then re-sweeten. Probably to avoid explosions.

It is worth keeping a couple of half-gallon containers in the back of your car and stopping at any farm gates you go past locally to see what they are like.

Sheppy's is really easy to get to whilst travelling, though - you come off the M5 at J26 and (going north) go left towards Wellington. Go right at the next roundabout, towards Taunton, and you will pass it on the right in a couple of miles - it's signed. There's easy parking.
vegplot

Bulk ciders are often quite nasty, supermarkets will buy in from these factories and label as their own. Try craft ciders from small producers, using carefully selected apples. Of the bigger "proper" manufacturers, try Thatchers or (my fave) Henry Westons 2009/2010 Vintage 8.2% or Weston's Organic. Lovely stuff Beer


Old Rosie. How I miss her.
Jamanda

Pop over to see this lot. You can try them all before you buy and they will blend you you own mix from the barrels. Bugs

You'll be expecting strongbow to contain apples next.

I resent the accusation that I have ever drunk Strongbow. Well, not since I was last in a student union bar anyway.

Old Rosie was also a bit disappointing, it sounded so nice; it sounds as though I will just have to do a lot more practical research, for the good of the folk of Downsizer. I'm all heart, me.
Lorrainelovesplants

As jamanda suggested...try Winkleigh Cider.

We like it so much that we bought 80 in a trip 2 months ago...and you can watch them making it (well, we watched them washing and pressing the apples!)

We make our own here.....
Treacodactyl

Yes, making your own is the way to go. drunken

Having a bit of a google it appears adding a sweetener of some sort is very common in sweet ciders, not essential but much easier to produce and not just done by large companies.

What I'm a little curious about is the labelling, I'm not sure if legally people need to list what's in their brew.
gil

No, you don't need to list ingredients in alcoholic drinks, all the way from beer and cider, to spirits.

I think that every time it was suggested, the big drinks manufacturers refused.

There is a legal requirement to state whether or not the drink contains sulphites. (in the 'may contain nuts', for allergy purposes sense)

You will find that some brewers do list their ingredients, as a marketing point, to prove that they're not adding nasties. e.g. our regional brewery, Sulwath, does this.

@ Bugs : I didn;t look at the ingredients, but have you tried the Appalling Place That Shall Not Be Named's organic pear cider ? It was quite dry. I wonder now if it had sweetener in ?

There's deffo an issue with fermenting out to dryness, and then needing to sugar up with potential bottle bursts. However, I thought the preferred method was sulphite. They must have switched to sugar-free sweetener.
gardening-girl

Of the bigger "proper" manufacturers, try Thatchers or (my fave) Henry Westons 2009/2010 Vintage 8.2% or Weston's Organic. Lovely stuff Beer[/quote].




You are my husband, and I claim 5. Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
12Bore

Of the bigger "proper" manufacturers, try Thatchers or (my fave) Henry Westons 2009/2010 Vintage 8.2% or Weston's Organic. Lovely stuff Beer .




You are my husband, and I claim 5. Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing[/quote]
Shocked Laughing Beer
vegplot


Old Rosie was also a bit disappointing,

It should have been cloudy, if not it loses a lot of flavour.
jema

"Invert" is at least drinkable.

Buying almost anything lately without sweeteners is a struggle. Could not find one basic lemonade this year Sad Sainsburies seems a little better than others for availability of non sweetened stuff.
Rusticwood

Pop over to see this lot. You can try them all before you buy and they will blend you you own mix from the barrels.

Another vote for Winkleigh cider
Lorrainelovesplants

If you are really interested....

http://www.facebook.com/ukcider

http://www.real-cider.co.uk/
kellineil

I'm fond of Thistly Cross from East Lothian

http://www.thistlycrosscider.co.uk/
Jamanda

What a useful first post Very Happy Hello and welcome ! Chez

Hello! wave

I have spent today combing the world for a small cider producer to come to our farmer's market. The links Lorraine has put up are helpful, too.
Pilgrim1975

Your best bet is to sample local farm gate ones. PM me a slightly less vague location and I'll see if I can recommend anyone.

We use Sheppy's, near Wellington and Pixford, near Bishop's Lydeard. With both of those, you turn up with your own container and they draw it off on tap for you.

Be careful with the local farm gate scrumpy. I once recall drinking half a gallon of the stuff without fully realising just how utterly lethal it is. With the benefit of hindsight, the fact that the farmer nicknamed the stuff 'Brainhammer' and he got it for me out of a drum with the Castrol logo on the side should really have been fair warning.
Chez

I get mine from down the road in gallon plastic containers. If you take your own, you get it cheaper Smile BadgerFace

My favorite cider is Harold & Frank Naish's, 'Badgers Spit'
Piltown Farm, West Pennard, Glastonbury.

I used to live just up the road from Sheppy's, in Blackmoor. Thankfully Sheppys and Badger Spit are both stocked in my local Farm shop (Middle Farm, Lewes), by the barrel. Very Happy
alison

We used to live right near the Naish' when we lived in West Pennard. We owned the pub. Lorrainelovesplants

another nice one is Bounders Bath cider. Kieran and I have tasting sessions - we get 3 bottles and sip and taste each one.....
(yes, I know he's a bit young - but he does have the most fantastic tastebuds)
dpack

aspartine is cheap

the last cider i made was from laxton superb ,a white strong cider very unlike the cheap tramp juice stuff ,it was sharp but sweet enough from the unfermentable fruit sugars to be nice

apples +yeast starter ,time

less ingredients is best with cider
Ruralnaedowell

The Lowfields Inn in Marton betwee Welshpool and Shrewbury has a fantastic vintage locally made cider on draught, though I can't remember what its called ! The logo is a burnt sun on a barrel stave on the pump handle.
Two pints of that and you are "proper mazed" and should be led home !
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