I’m on my way to the Bath & West Show where we have two of our ciders entered in what they say is the world’s biggest cider competition.
Of all our ciders it’s the Dry Cider and Medium Cider that I’m most proud of.
The Dry Cider is a blend of five dessert apple varieties, each chosen for a different characteristic that they bring – colour, aroma and, of course, flavour. We then blend them in different proportions so they complement each other and we get a balanced drink.
One of the fascinating things this year is how different each variety was to the previous year. My tasting notes show some marked changes in characteristics. No surprise really, the growing conditions in 2013 and 2014 couldn’t have been more different.
But it meant that we had to redo the Dry Cider blend. It took a few goes but I think we’ve got it.
Our Medium Cider is a different blend of dessert and culinary apples, whereas last year we just sweetened the Dry. I think it’s a more interesting drink for the new blend.
We sweeten it with fresh-pressed apple juice, rather than sugar or an artificial sweetener, which adds a new dimension.
Unlike the Dry Cider it’s pasteurised, though both are unfiltered.
I can’t wait to see them in the cider and orchards tent at the show today. Apparently there’ve already been some comments about how different they look to the majority of entrants!