Crushed Pear Cider
Tomorrow is Australia Day, but some friends and I thought we’d get the party started a little early with a backyard barbecue and a few bevvies. We should have gone down the patriotic path and purchased some Australian beer, like a XXXX, Tooheys, VB, Cascade, Coopers or Swan, but it seemed our tastebuds had jumped on a plane and crossed the water to bring back the flavours of cider.
Up until the last three or four years the diversity of cider supplies in Australia was limited (I’m sure we are all familiar with Strongbow). However, and this may have something to do with my increasing palate for a nice cider, there has been an influx of quality cider labels appearing on bottle shop shelves of late. For me, a good apple cider is incredibly refreshing, with a crisp finish, but I wasn’t sure what to expect with the pear cider, and part of me wondered if it would have a thick and sometimes gritty consistency. That thought was far from appealing.
With the barbecue well alight, and the balmy summer night taking effect, it was time to crack the lid on a bottle. In the absence of an esky (I know! How unAustralian of me), I had placed a half a dozen Monteith’s Crushed Pear Ciders in the freezer for maximum chill. Like an apple cider, I could have chosen to drink my pear cider straight from the fridge, but I think this one was best served over ice (and at least I had that on hand) and that’s about where the similarities end. What I have come to expect from apple cider is a strong flavour with a delightful crisp finish that has me smacking my lips together, but what I discovered with the pear cider was a lighter and more rounded flavour that left a smooth and lingering taste in my mouth (no grit, like eating a pear). Incredibly refreshing!
According to the brewer, this pear cider is made using ‘sun ripened Nelson pears’ and having been to the South Island of New Zealand on a few occasions myself, I attest to the natural quality of their fresh fruit and vegetables. With this cider, there is a welcome sweetness to the pear flavour, only a hint of colour (not at all cloudy, as I had expected) in the glass and very little alcohol after-taste.
With cider experiencing increased popularity, I suggest keeping Monteith’s Crushed Pear Cider in the back of your mind for the afternoon barbecue, a day spent by the pool, of for that game of backyard cricket. The trick will be in keeping it super cool.