Below is a list of the most common ciders that are not recognised as being real. The most common reason being that concentrate juice has been used, the minimum can be as little as just 35%, the rest is water, fizz and chemicals.
Let’s start with the big boys...
It’s normally assumed that there’s a particular variety of apple that’s preferable for cider, but this isn’t the case, although for me, tannins should be considered. Tannis are what gives cider and wine ‘body’ in its flavour. Higher amounts are found in more bittersweet apples, and generally in the traditional cider making counties like Somerset and Herefordshire. However, don’t be put off if you’re elsewhere as I know many cider makers in the East of England that make a delicious cider from dessert and cooking apples, which although have lower tannins produce a mouthwatering sharp bite. Everyone’s taste buds are different after all and the diversity of cider really does mean something for everyone!
Sweet: Low tannin, low acidity (Golden Delicious, Binet Rouge, Wickson)
Sharp: Low tannin, higher acidity (Granny Smith, Brown’s, Golden Harvey)
Bittersharp: Higher tannin, higher acidity (Kingston Black, Stoke Red, Foxwhelp)
Bittersweet: Higher tannin, lower acidity (Royal Jersey, Dabinett, Muscadet de Dieppe)
Some varieties have names which may make you laugh like: Bastard Underleaf, Bushy French, Crackstalk, Hard Knock, Spotted Dick, Shatfords and Yellow Willy - which I’ve got some cream for!