Incider Scoop

Incider Scoop


With low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks becoming more popular than ever, cider has firmly rooted itself on the beverage scene. HN spoke to four professionals to discover just what’s so special about the drink made from apples.

General manager
Azure Beach Dubai, Rixos Premium
Dubai JBR

What are the latest trends in cider?
At Azure Beach, we have fun with cider in our slushies. Freeze a flavored cider alone, or add your favorite liqueur (and acid) to balance. I’m a big fan of Ace Cider from California; they make a pineapple cider that goes nicely with a shot of Bacardi 8yo.

What’s your top tip when it comes to making the perfect cider-based drink?
When you are working with something new, I recommend using a drink that you know well as a base. For example, you can make a mojito and use cider instead of soda. Remember, every cider is different, so you will need to balance accordingly.

Global bar manager
LPM Restaurant & Bar

What are the latest trends in cider?
We can clearly see that the current trend is to drink less, which is why low or nonalcoholic drinks have started to become more popular. One category on the rise is cider. It is not just enjoyed on its own but also in crafted cocktails. If we look back in time, we also see that ciders were an important part of the pre–prohibition era. The most critical part when creating a cocktail is to understand the cider, as there are so many styles and variations available right now.
Customers are also more health conscious; the younger audience looks at carbs, sugar intake and generally drinks less. There are healthier versions on the market, such as gluten-free, vegan-friendly and dry ciders that are lower in calories. I think mainstream cider will not find its place in future cocktail development because of its high sugar content.

Do you have a favorite cider brand?
The best ciders can be found in Normandy; the French region is famous for locally grown apples and pears. My top choice would be a semi-dry cider, such as Cidrer Pays d’Auge Cambremer.

What’s your top tip when it comes to making the perfect cider-based drink?
Everyone has their own idea of how to make cider shine in cocktails. It also depends on the season; in winter cider can be used in warm cocktails using brown spirit, while in the summer, you can enjoy a light cider in a highball.

Beverage manager
FFI Group

What are the latest trends in cider?
Cider is a fun drink. I have always considered it to be a low-alcohol apple wine rather than attributing to it a separate beverage category. The light, unobtrusive apple flavor combines extremely well in the construction of long cocktails, allowing an easy addition of extra ingredients. Its natural carbonation and perfect balance of acidity and sweetness make it easy for both men and women to consume, and it’s also extremely food friendly. As a wine lover, I always expect more from a cider. I get excited when I try Méthode Champeniose or Pétillant – natural ciders that have a naturally high sugar content, tannin and tart flavors. Cornouaille is one of the greatest brands. The juice is fermented with no water, sweeteners or carbonation added to the final product.

What’s your top tip when it comes to making the perfect cider-based drink?
Cider, like any other drink, carries a long history. It is a product that derives from hard work and possesses taste qualities that you can only recognize by knowing the product well. I would advise keeping the alcohol content low when mixing it in cocktails, leaving the fine bubbles as present as possible and targeting a refreshing profile.

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