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Cider - Best Apple Cider Drinks

Updated on July 19, 2011
Bulmers Orignal Apple Cider
Bulmers Orignal Apple Cider

My Favourite Apple Cider

Here I am going to write about the most common apple cider I see sold in pubs around my local area of Cardiff, United Kingdom. I'm am listing them as my favorites first and I am also going to include some pear ciders also, because sometimes I like the variation of the two.

I have been a cider drinker since 3 years ago and I never drink Lagers, I cant see the attraction in the taste. I had a bad experience with Stella Artois when I was 17. Its actually a funny story, I went to a new years eve party with a friend and his belgian dad had given us a crate of Stella. There were heater fans under and tent because it was cold outside and I had drunk quite a lot and passed out.. I missed the countdown to the millennium!

I am now 26 and my friend introduced me to premium ciders in the summer 3 years ago. I had tried dry cider such as white lightning when I was younger but these didn't appeal to me either. I instantly fell in love with the premium, it had the refreshing taste of apple juice, the fizzyness of a soft drink, with that comforting warmness on your chest that you get with alchoholic spirits.

1. My Favorite Cider so far has to be Bulmers Original. People say it is the same as Magners, but I have to disagree. When I pour a Bulmers into a pint with ice it has a large creamy head on it as though it is a beer. Magners head dissapear's very quickly. It is also a different color to Magners which is an orangey colour where as Bulmers is a dark golden color. I had one friend who refused to try Bulmers because he regarded Magners superior due to price, however Tescos have recently made Bulmers their top cider due to popular demand.

Bulmers use only the finest Apples from the best orchards. Their cider is patiently vat matured to give Bulmers its natural refreshing taste and smooth character. Making cider since 1887.

Bulmers and Magners are both made by the same people who make Strongbow dry cider which I will extend on further on in this article.

Bulmers Light is very similar to the original Bulmers, It is not widespread in shops and pubs around my area but when I see it I usually buy it due to feeling guilty about sugar intake. It is a low calorie cider but obviously isnt as sweet as normal cider. However with only 92 calories I would recomend it highly if you are desperate to lose weight and don't want to sacrifice you drinking hobby.

 I began my cider drinking career with Magners so I had to place it as third position. Due to it being a vintage recipe, and the price indicating quality, I was satisfied and it kept me coming back. It is actually the supposed 4.5 ABV replica of Bulmers which is the version that only has exclusive rights for marketing in Republic of Ireland.

Commercial cider production was started in Clonmel, County Tipperary in 1935, by local man William Magner. Magner quickly established a successful business, and in 1937 he joined forces with the English cider-makers H.P Bulmers and Company.

In 1949 Magner withdrew from the business and the Bulmers name came to the fore. However H.P. Bulmer maintained international rights to the Bulmers trade mark, which meant the Irish company had to change their brand to Magners to export from Ireland.

Once again 4.5% volume
Once again 4.5% volume

 As I mentioned earlier I have never like Dry ciders such as Blackthorn or White Lightning, However, Stowford Press is a Medium Dry Cider and has a rather refreshing taste. It has such a strong resemblance to apple juice that I could comfortably enjoy it with a meal because it doesnt leave me bloated. It is made by H. Weston & Sons Limited ("Weston's Cider") which I will continue to write about next.

  Westons traditional English cider has been produced in Much Marcle village, in Hertfordshire for 125 years. It has a rich flavour, very fruity and you have the option of draught ice(pictured above) or regular depending on the direction the pump is held. Westons ice is extremely refreshing and is definately a different method of adding ice to your cider and deserves spot number 5 in my list.

 Koppaberg is one of the best 'Perry' ciders to emerge recently during pear ciders sudden popularity. Obviously Bulmers and Magners also have their own brand of pear cider, but I would either chose Koppaberg or Bulmers version which has a sparkly green label identical to the apple version. Those two are my personal choices when I am tired of apple cider all of the time or when I am suffering with heartburn because I assume apples have more citric acid than pears. As it says on the label, Koppaberg has a light and bubbly taste being made from sourced water and is named after the swedish town it was developed in.

 I saved this one until last due to it being my least favourite. It is the cheaper more common brand of the H.P Bulmers company and is found in all pubs on draught across the U.K.  I used to drink this as a last resort if I was short on cash or if it was in my girlfriends fridge.

  However I try and avoid it these days because it causes terrible acid reflex to me and my girlfriend, mainly I believe due to a more common blend of apples. Having said this, to someone without heartburn problems, this maybe a satisfactory taste.

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