Australia Day is one of the last major celebrations of summer, so it’s only fitting to say hooroo to this stellar (but stinkin’ hot) season in style.
It’s a day when Australians around our fair nation will slip into their you-beaut bikinis and their dressiest thongs, grab a slab of their favourite bbq, and make their way to the nearest beach or pool for a day of merriment with their mates.
The most important task of the day however, is what to pack in the esky.
While a traditionalist might suggest beer should be your go-to, there’s another carbonated beverage that has been making a play for top spot the last couple of years: cider.
But with so many different types on the market, what to choose?
At Style, we took it upon ourselves to sample some of the most popular ciders on the market, and provide you with a comprehensive in-cider’s guide to cider, revealing some tasting notes, our favourite picks and even some tips for food matching.
We tried this in three different flavours; Strawberry and lime, Elderflower and Lime and Pear.
Kopparberg with Strawberry & Lime:
Tastes like: Think strawberry jam, strawberry ice creams from the Ekka, and frozen strawberry margaritas (melted – and with bubbles) balanced with a squeeze of lime.
Drink with: Thai shredded chicken salad, or chocolate strawberry tart or pavlova.
Staff notes: While this was particularly sweet, it received thumbs up from more than half of the staff. Most agreed however, that it wasn’t something you could drink from sundown until sun up. Best enjoyed towards the end of the evening over dessert – or if you’re only having the one.
This was journalist Sarah’s fave:
“This was sooo good. Quite sweet, but definitely my fave. I do have a sweet tooth, but I will be buying this one again!”
Kopparberg Elderflower & Lime
Tastes like: Delicate floral notes accompanied by vibrant lime acidity. Well balanced and refreshing.
Drink with: Baked cheesecake topped with berries, or grilled chicken skewers with lemon and rosemary.
Staff notes: This proved to be a favourite among staff. Sweet, but not as much as the previous version.
Kimberley, our intern noted, “Still sweet, but enjoyable. Has a really nice aftertaste.”
Kopparberg Pear Cider
Tastes like: Full, round, luscious and fruity pear flavour.
Drink with: Twice cooked pork belly with Asian spiced pear, or even chocolate pear pudding.
Staff notes: Refreshing and easy to drink. No one’s favourite, but hard to compete when staff are now BFFs with Pear’s sweeter, more exotically flavoured younger sisters Elderflower & Lime and Strawberry & Lime.
Strongbow Classic Apple Cider
Tastes like: Clean and crisp; fresh and delicious without being sickly sweet.
Drink with: Pulled pork burgers or beer battered fish and chips.
Staff notes: Strongbow – believe it or not - is Australia’s top-selling cider. Among our cultured staff, this also proved to be the most popular, hailing the bubbly brew as the Goldilocks of the bubbly brews – not to sweet, not too dry; just right
Bulmers Original Apple Cider
Tastes like: Bright, fresh and classical clean apple character.
Drink with: Just about anything – from your pub parmy, to snags, onion and a generous blob of bbq sauce between a slice of white bread.
Staff notes: This was Helen from accounts' favourite: “I like this one. Smooth, mild and easy to drink”
Matilda Bay Dirty Granny Cider
Tastes like: Made from 100 percent apples, this has a robust, zesty but bitter flavour.
Drink with: This is a good one to drink while tucking into strong goats cheeses and Camembert, pork sausages with chutney. Perfect ‘starter’ drink – an amuse bouche in cider form.
Staff notes: This was probably the least favourite among the staff, but one of my favourites. It had a refreshing, tart bite to it, not too different from unsweetened, stewed green apples.
Journalist Sarah lamented, that it “Smelt weird, but tasted ok. I think we should have started with this one!”
These ciders are available from all good bottle shops.