Celebrate with Cyder
PUBLISHED: 15:30 15 February 2017 | UPDATED: 15:30 15 February 2017
As we head into the season of mid-Winter feasting and celebration, it's time to take a look at how our most ubiquitous, mystical and deep-rooted drink can add sparkle and good cheer to the festivities. Cyder has such a long standing link with the winter it seems strange that it is more often associated with summer fayres. From Bonfire Night through to Valentine's Day, via the ancient Wassail celebrations of Twelfth Night, there is a cyder out there to suitably fit your bill.
Fermented with Champagne yeast, Aspall cyders have a wine like characteristic that lends them a rather refined personality, so they are as at home in a Champagne flute as any sparkling wine is. Try as an alternative to Prosecco or Cava on the Big Day; the floral aromas and rich tartness of Aspall Premier Cru will add a smile to the most determined of Christmas Scrooges, and with its lighter alcohol content those smiles will stay in sharper focus through the course of the day.
And if your mystical side takes you out in to the orchard to celebrate a Wassail, or simply to watch the fireworks as the New Year rolls in, be sure to get some mulled cyder on the go; rich, sweet, spicy warmth to keep the winter chill at bay. Buy it pre-mixed – or make your own with this delightful recipe on our website: http://www.aspall.co.uk/kitchen/view/homemade-mulled-cyder
Thinking Pink for Valentine’s? Perronelle’s Blush and Isabel’s Berry are here to help; our light, delicate cyder blended with rich, aromatic and moreishly tart juice – blackberry in Peronnelle’s and redcurrant and raspberry in Isabel’s. Charming and utterly seductive – what more could you ask for on a romantic night out?
Why the world’s best restaurants don’t have cider matches on their cheese menus is becoming increasingly more mysterious to us at Aspall. What often gets paired with a cheese platter tends to be a one size fits all sweet wine or a port; sure, they are often great quality and they can work on occasion, but when you consider the incredible range of cheeses we have available to us, regardless of what your matching tipple is fermented from, there is no way a single glass can cover all the bases. Genuine premium, high juice cider, with its great range of styles and flavours, coupled with its often close terroir relationship to where milk producing livestock grazes (in the orchards), has so much to bring to the party. Quite apart from anything else, a great bottle of cider is a fraction of the cost of its equivalent bottle of wine. Maybe that’s part of the problem. You be the judge – try these great Suffolk cheese and cyder combos; trust us, you won’t look back!
Suffolk Gold and Aspall Harry Sparrow
Suffolk Cheeses was established in July 2004 by Jason and Katharine Salisbury. This is a pasteurised creamy semi-hard farmhouse cheese made from pedigree Guernseys, and it has a delicious flavour with a rich golden colour. Perfect with oatcakes or an apple – which is where Harry Sparrow comes in. Harry’s natural sweetness and low acidity, coupled with a soft astringency complements this amazing cheese wonderfully.
Baron Bigod and Aspall Premier Cru
Jonny & Dulcie Crickmore run Fen Farm Dairy where the gorgeous Baron Bigod is made. A creamy, white bloomy-rind cheese handmade on the farm by Jonny, Dulcie and the team from their own raw Montbeliarde cows’ milk. It has a smooth silky texture and a golden curd, with long lasting warm earth, farmyard and mushroom flavours. With a natural up front sweetness, Premier Cru embraces the creamy texture of Baron Bigod and its complex earthy background notes of bittersweet are a perfect match for the earthy overtones of this quite wondrous cheese. A match made in heaven!
Suffolk Hawkston and Aspall Imperial
Made at the Rodwell Dairy near Needham Market, Hawkston is made from unpasteurised cow’s milk and matured for 3-5 months; it has a crumbly texture and a refreshing tang that Aspall Imperial brings the best out of. With its deep gold colour, complex flavours enhanced by a dosage of moscavado sugar Imperial is just the ticket for this delicately complex cheese.