Cider has evolved since my first experience in a black bottle at a Welsh freshers fair 25 years ago! Today’s market has more craft and artisan producers with well know names like Thatchers in their fourth generation of cider making.
Consumers drinking habits have changed, likewise, Thatchers head cider maker Richard loves the challenge of this! Over a chilled glass of Thatchers Family Reserve, I heard how he uses his biochemist background to respond to the current ‘Prosecco trend’ by creating a crisp, light, bubbly, cider aperitif; Which in my opinion he got spot on!
So I started thinking: If you can create an aperitif where grapes have traditionally been used, what happens when carefully crafted cider is matched with well thought-out food. Could that work too?
At one of Bristols newest restaurant success stories, Pasture, ex- Jamie Oliver restaurant stalwart, Sam Elliott, accepted the challenge. As a willing guinea pig, I was brought in to see what dishes the chef-owner could create to match with the Thatchers portfolio.
With so many different styles of cider, Sam could be forgiven for enjoying the process of tasting the profiles to match with each small dish. Peruvian inspired Brixham scallop ceviche with tiger milk (aromatics from lime, ginger, chilli, coriander, Chinese gooseberry) married with the delicate savoury flavours of Thatchers Katy cider.
The Pasture signature short rib croquette: rich, smokey and moorish paired beautifully with Thatchers Vintage cider which is matured in oak vats giving a well-rounded depth of character. Cider was even paired with dessert! A light choux pastry filled with praline creme patissier, offset with a raspberry sharpness ate beautifully with Thatchers Summer Vintage; Sweet, light and crisp profile which is well balanced and floral.
Ever looking for new inspiration, my creativity started to flow. What summer dish could I create using Thatchers cider which would work for summer style eating? In the midst of this amazing summer and BBQ weather, how about an awesome barbeque sauce! Using the popular Thatchers Katy, my Katy BBQ sauce was born to accompany Cajun spiced chicken thighs.
I’ve had my own guinea pigs around and it’s gone down a treat at my summer gatherings! I even made a video to show you how easy and fuss-free it is and all the ingredients and recipe here.
As the summer continues if you would like to try a Thatchers cider with your next meal or BBQ maybe take a look below at my quick tasting notes to help you work out what could work best! Please remember to drink responsibly and if you find something you really love, remember to let us know in The Fuss Free Foodie Facebook community. If you want to see more of my recipes cooking with cider click here!
Style and Food Pairing
|Family reserve, ABV 11%||An aperitif. Great alternative to sparkling wine/prosecco/champagne|
|Katy, 7.4%||Lift, crisp and smooth. Softly sparkling, light strawberry notes, perfect with delicate savoury dishes|
|Haze, 4.5%||Cloudy, crisp and sweet cider. Good for BBQs and with aromatic foods|
|Vintage, 7.4%||Medium dry cider, fruity and crisp. Drink with bold, savoury dishes|
|Redstreak, 8.4%||Spicy apple pie flavour, good with sweet and savoury fruit-based dishes|
|Old Rascal, 4.5%||Medium dry cider. Peppery notes work with spicy foods, fruity desserts or try blue cheese|
|Summer Vintage, 7.4%||Light, gently sparkling and crisp. Refreshing summer drink. Eat with cold meats, cheese and salads|
|Gold, 4.8%||Medium dry cider with floral notes and hints of honey. Pairs well with cheese, and fish and chips!|
|Redwood, 6.0%||Golden, rich and intense with a subtle hint of vanilla|
For more of my cider and food recipes and videos click here