Ah, cider. It's a word that for many of us brings up painful memories of ill-judged adolescent adventures into the mysteries of alcohol, usually in car parks and luckily in the days before Asbos. Alistair Darling's decision to increase duty on cider by 10 per cent in last week's budget will have brought many a sense of gratitude that we now have access to more grown-up drinks.
But cider is far from simply the drink of kids who wouldn't know better and people who spend all day in the park shouting. Like beer, wine and pretty much every drink worth discussing, cider is a very broad church, with bland but heavily marketed concoctions at one end and the highly complex creations of small artisanal producers at the other. Here's a round-up of the best and the most forgettable but familiar.
Incidentally, if you're looking for the delectable Rosie's Triple D, mentioned in that article, it's a drink you really have to work for, making it even more appealing. It's available only at the excellent Blue Bell Inn in Halkyn, Flintshire, and then only when Steve's been in. Available or not, it's well worth the journey .