The apple is the king of fruits and plays an important part in our culture. Turning it into craft cider is a venerable tradition, complete with a whole slew of rituals, including wassailing. Virtually every farm had an orchard and labourers of yore were often paid in cider. Crafty Nectar are offering my readers the chance to win a discovery box of six craft ciders. No need to scythe a meadow first.
In Cornwall, cider runs in the veins. It was the first alcoholic drink to pass my lips. I remember feeling very grown up when visiting my uncle as a child and being able to have a glass of sweet woodpecker cider with my meal. Later as a teenager, Cornish scrumpy was the booze of choice: it was a bit rough and ready, but hey, it was great for parties. Thankfully, things have moved on since those days and there is now a burgeoning industry in creating premium craft ciders, both in Cornwall and the rest of the country.
To this very day, I’d rather drink a good quality cider than wine or beer. Cue Crafty Nectar, a cider subscription club with a difference. It’s the club to belong to if you want to discover exclusive artisan craft ciders. Experts look for juice quality and content and only select those with no concentrates or artificial flavourings. You can choose from 3, 6 or 12 bottles a month and subscribe for one, three, six or twelve months. Your membership will also support small cider producers, which has got to be a good thing in my book.
I was hoping for some tasting notes to help me on my way, but when I unpacked the craft cider box, it was just three lone bottles. Oh well, I thought, I’ll just have to work it out for myself and reached straight for the bottle opener.
As a bonus, Crafty Nectar are offering my readers a 10% discount on all cider flights and subscription boxes. So if you like a tipple, appreciate a good fermentation and like a bit of variety, then a Crafty Nectar subscription may be for you. Please use code: CRAFTY10 at checkout.
Craft Cider Bottles
Lancombe Rising (5%, 37.5 cl)
This Dorset cider ferments slowly and matures in the bottle, which results in a natural sparkling drink. Hence Lancombe Rising – geddit? It was dry and sparkling and left the palate feeling clean. It’s a good one to drink with dinner. CT and I shared the bottle as an accompaniment to a hearty lentil bolognese and it went down very well. Lancombe Rising is produced by West Milton Cider Company and it won Supreme Champion in the Royal Bath & West British Cider Championship 2017.
The Rouge (4%, 50 cl)
The red, referred to in the name of this limited edition cider from Colcombe House in Herefordshire, comes from rhubarb and strawberry. I’m particularly interested to try this one as I have a penchant for rhubarb. Rhubarb and strawberry are a classic combination and I can see that it might work well in a cider. I’m looking forward to trying it.
Grey Heron (5.5%, 50cl)
We also haven’t yet tried the Grey Heron craft cider, but I like the idea that it’s a single orchard origin. It’s hand crafted by Perry’s in Somerset from their own farm apples; the varieties are Redstreak and Dabinett. They bottle this sparkling cider young and according to the label it has a sweet fruity taste.
If by any chance you have some craft cider you’re not so keen on or are unable to finish, you could try making this almond apple cider cake. It’s a particularly good one. Alternatively this mulled cider is nice and warming on a cold winter’s night.
Crafty Nectar Subscription Box Giveaway
I was sent 3 bottles of craft cider to try. I was not expected to write a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging.