Thirsty Thursday: Aussie Cider

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The one thing we didn’t expect to find, nor even think to look for while we were in Australia was hard cider. I just love a good, refreshing hard cider on a beautiful spring or summer day. So we were pleasantly surprised when we found some!

Our first cider encounter was at The Norfolk in Sydney {New South Wales}. They had one on tap from New Zealand. True, it’s not an Aussie Cider, but I had never had one from NZ either. It was such a clear color! Seriously, this glass is full!

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It went nicely with the Peri-Peri Chicken I had for lunch! Peri-Peri {also piri-piri} Chicken is a Portuguese-style dish that I can’t say that I’ve seen in the U.S. But I hadn’t known about it[ so I hadn’t been looking for it either. I think I was first introduced by Tiffany at Cute Dogs and Hugs. Then I noticed it all over Australia. {I also noticed a lot of chicken burgers and chicken schnitzel. HA!} Peri-peri sauce has such a nice heat!

Peri Peri Chicken

Peri Peri Chicken

The cider complemented it nicely, too. I may have to try to make Peri-Peri chicken or sauce at home. Biz, are you up for the challenge?!

But Rob also noticed on their list that they carried an Aussie cider by the bottle. We gave it a try.

Another excellent specimen! This one is from the Snowy Mountains {New South Wales}.

I was so oblivious to Australian geography before we visited the country. So, I’d like to offer you a quick lesson right now. It’ll give you an idea of where each of these ciders comes from.

Remember that Australia is roughly the size of the United States.

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But there are only a total of eight states and territories!

{ACT = Australian Capital Territory, where you will find Canberra, the capital city}

Australia

Now consider that this country is in the Southern Hemisphere where the seasons are flopped from those of us in the North. {It was spring when we arrived in September! Everyone is on summer vacation over Christmas!} And, the further you go north {towards the equator}, the warmer it gets. The further south you go, the temps are cooler, creating better conditions for apple growing.

Our next cider experience was with Chloe at Young & Jackson’s in Melbourne {Victoria}.IMG_9383

We took a lovely drive with Mum & Dad from our home base in Melbourne out to the Mornington Peninsula {Victoria}. It was a beautiful day to lunch outside. I found a nice little local cider on the menu:

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It comes from Wallington {Victoria}, which is just across the water from the town where we lunched. The whole arrangement made me happy – a beautiful day, lunch outside, one of the best salads I’ve ever had, and wonderful company, all while sipping a bottle of crisp local cider.

Can you tell that we were just a tad bit happy?!

Can you tell that we were just a tad bit happy?!

One thing we learned from Mum and Dad was something else that was unbeknownst to me: Did you know where the Granny Smith apple originated?

Tasmania!

Me neither! You can read the story about Granny Smith (an actual person!) here. After learning all of this, when we saw a bottle of the cider pictured below at an establishment in St. Kilda, there was no way we could order anything else.

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To be honest, I’m not even sure if this Cider House belongs to the same Smith family, nor if it is made from Granny Smith apples. But it sold us. It didn’t matter. Sipping on another Tasmanian cider that we knew we couldn’t have had at home was a treat anyway.

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It was a delicious farmhouse-style cider. We love that Willie Smith & Sons is big on not adding anything artificial and that the apples are organically grown, too.

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Speaking of Farmhouse-style ciders…

Rob loves Scrumpy Ciders! He used to think that the term scrumpy meant that the cider was higher in alcohol. That’s probably because many are. But now we know that the term is used more to describe locally produced ciders not made in mass quantities.  My absolute favorite Scrumpy is J.K.’s Scrumpy Farmhouse Organic Hard Cider out of Michigan. It tastes just like the unfiltered apple cider you pick up directly at an orchard!

Rob and I are highly interested in visiting Tasmania when we next visit Australia someday. It sounds like a beautiful countryside full of lots interesting history!

Rob did enjoy a Scrumpy Cider at Milk the Cow, a wine and cheese bar in the St. Kilda area of Melbourne.

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This one did pack a punch at 8% ABV anyway!

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Then there’s this:

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What a great name! I love the crocheted label look. But there is the disclaimer that the cider inside wasn’t necessarily made with granny smiths.

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The next cider, I believe, was one Rob enjoyed the night the girls shared a little bubbly with dinner.  It’s another Tassie {pronounced Tazzie!} cider:

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The last cider I quaffed on our Australian trip was on a hot day while we were visiting Uluru. I’m sure we paid an arm and a leg for it at the resort restaurant. And just like in Ireland (and now more common in the U.S., too) servers always try to offer me a glass full of ice to water my cider down. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s just my personal preference: If the cider is already chilled, I don’t want your stinking ice!

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I don’t mind “cloudy” or unfiltered ciders. In fact, that’s what I love in a good Farmhouse-style cider. But the Seeds cider was probably my least favorite cider of the trip. I still didn’t let it go to waste!

Then I saw that it is a product of Tooheys:

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Tooheys is a mass-producer of beers and ciders in Australia. That might explain why it was my least favorite.

But overall, the ciders in Australia were delicious. Yes, it’s always a good idea to drink wine in wine countries; but if apples are a product of the region, don’t look those over either!

What’s your favorite style of cider? Dry? Sweet? Filtered? Unfiltered? Have you had a scrumpy?

~

Other posts about our trip to Australia:

Cheers!~
Carrie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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