IT appears that cider drinking is enjoying something of a renaissance. The marketing men would have us believe that it’s no longer the drink of bristly students humming the Worzels’ novelty hit, but the tipple of young, sophisticates supping “over ice”.
Serious news programmes have been busy interviewing market analysts following the announcement that Irish drinks group C&C has seen stronger growth than expected across the start of the financial year, as its Magners cider brand continues to take market share in the UK.
And the strength of the cider market is even leading to the planting of more apple orchards in England.
But has cider really shaken off its student-get-trashed-on-the-cheap image? I haven’t yet found anyone who does actually drink the stuff but, then again, maybe my friends aren’t the marketing dreams which feature in the delightful TV ads and I need to find a more sophisticated bunch to hang out with!
For many, the hazy memory of cider drinking seems to begin and end at those illicit early drinks; over-strength, cloudy scrumpy, which may or may not have contained meat (or rats depending on where you grew up) and an aftertaste with breath to match which was reminiscent of vomit.
As you can probably tell, I’m not a big fan but if our fields are to be heavily laden with fruit once more, then what about Perry? This delightful drink has surely got to be worth re-invigorating. It’s light, not overstrength, has a summery taste and is a good companion to food.
If seems to be easy to get hold of over the water in France, but why do so few places stock it in this country?
So come on drinks producers, how about giving the humble pear a try.