How to: Taste Cider!

Every Friday at Craft Gin Club HQ we hold a gin tasting where we discover some of the best craft gins that end up in our member’s Gin of the Month box! So we know a thing or two about gin…but what if we apply the same tasting techniques when it comes to tasting cider? We put our noses and tongues to the test as we had a go at tasting the Bulmers Orchard Pioneers Green and Red Apple Ciders in June’s Gin of the Month box and this is what happened…

Step One: Ready Already

To really evaluate the quality of a cider, it’s important to serve it the way it’s intended. While at a gin tasting you may try the spirit neat, and other ciders would be poured over ice into a pint glass, Orchard Pioneers is a little bit different.

As Emma Sherwood-Smith, Cider Brand Director at Heineken, explains, “Whilst there’s nothing like an over-ice cider in a back garden on a summer’s day, we know that this isn’t always the most convenient, and sometimes the portion size can feel too large. These new 330ml bottles are smaller and easy to drink – and still remain chilled, without having to be poured into a glass.”

A few hours before you want to have your cider tasting, all you need to do is pop your Orchard Pioneers in the fridge. When it’s chilled and cold to the touch, you’re good to go.

Step Two: Prime Your Palate

Just like with gin, prime your palate to get the best from your cider. But don’t get anxious about whether you’re doing it right – the Orchard Pioneer in your June Gin of the Month box, whilst lovingly crafted, is super easy to drink, and the perfect starting point for learning more about a new drink.

All you need to do to get started is take a small sip to coat your palate. Don’t focus too hard on details at this point; it’s all about the big picture. Notice the strength of the carbonation, the mouthfeel and the overall impression of your cider. Now it’s time to drill down into the flavour profile.

Step Three: Savour the Flavour

To craft their Orchard Pioneers range, the brand worked closely with two Herefordshire apple farmers to create two fresh takes on apple cider taste. What you taste when you take your next sip of cider will depend on which apple variety your received in your Gin of the Month box, but to find your favourite style – either sweet or dry – be sure to give both a try!


“The fresh taste of both varieties is rooted in the provenance of apples grown and picked locally in Herefordshire,” says Emma. “The Green Apple variant offers a crunchy sweetness, sparkling with the flavour of fresh apple juice and subtle sweetness. The Red Apple variant has more bittersweetness from the taste of true Herefordshire red apples.”

Try both to find your preferred style of cider and take it to the back garden or BBQ for the perfect summer tipple. These delicious ciders deliver perfect refreshment and delicious taste – straight from the bottle!