What are hard ciders made of?

The best ciders start out as the fresh pressed juice of special apple varieties and, less often, special pear varieties. The juice is then fermented to make hard cider. And like winemaking, the art is in the fermentation, blending and aging.

Are cider apples different than regular apples? 

Until well into the 19th century a lot of apple breeding and selection was focused on fruit that made good hard ciders. It was a bonus if the apple also served other purposes. At Tideview Cider we use a lot of these heirloom varieties. Golden Russet, Ribston Pippin and Yellow Bellflower are among our favorites. We grow them on the farm and so do some of our neighbours. You won’t find many of them at a modern grocery store. Some make good ciders on their own, but most great ciders are the result of blending together the right apple varieties in the right measure.

What about pairing with food?

Seafood and cider go together like they were made for each other. Many poultry, pork and vegetarian dishes are also very complimentary. We’ve also enjoyed pairings with South Asian and Indian Cuisine. One of our favourites is cider and mushroom strudel.

For more information about traditional ciders and cider-makers, check out these links:

Old Time Cider

The Wittenham Hill Cider Pages

Cidermonger