Delivering the perfect pairing is an art – especially when pairing cider. To the uninitiated, you might think that cider simply goes with apple- or pork-based dishes, but – particularly in the case of our Triple Vintage – there are many other flavour profiles that it can complement and accentuate.
“When choosing what to drink with lunch or dinner, I think that many people’s instincts lead them to the grape,” says Charlie Hibbert, Head Chef at boutique hotel Thyme. “But Showerings is cool and dry and makes for something wonderfully different. It’s subtle, surprising, and a welcome change to the norm.”
Across the country, we’re seeing an increase in ciders being offered as pairings alongside wines. So, we spoke with four of the UK’s leading chefs, bar managers, and sommeliers who are doing just that. Below, they tell us how they’re pairing our Triple Vintage cider – from cured pigeon to fish and chips and everything in between.
Charles Carron Brown, Head Sommelier at Aulis London
“During the Winter months we spend more time indoors next to roaring fires with friends and family, there’s something inherently warming about enjoying a cider such as Showerings.”
We begin with a classic pairing from Charles: pork. “I enjoy Showerings alongside a large portion of pork crackling,” he says. “It’s a great alternative to a hoppy ale on a Sunday afternoon.”
At Aulis, Simon Rogan’s chef’s table restaurant in Soho, Charles also goes for another classic pairing. “I love offering this cider [Showerings Triple Vintage] alongside our pink lady apple tart baked in verjus and woodruff,” he says. “A classic pairing if ever there was one – and one that works so well.”
The reason it works, he explains, is the Triple Vintage’s wine-like properties. “The Showerings cider is a rich, full-flavoured (multi-vintage) cider that has many similarities to wine,” he explains. “It’s tannic yet subtly sweet and indulges one into something different – comparable to a classic sweet wine or glass of bubbly, perhaps.”
Emile Caplin, Bar Manager at The Pig near Bath
“This time of year is perfect for getting your hands on an elegant orchard blend.”
“When it’s a bit chilly and darker, I love to enjoy a glass of cider to start or finish a meal as it works with a more filling or fatty starter,” says Emile. “Perhaps a honey-glazed pork belly – or a dessert. I’m a cheese fiend and a great cider like the Triple Vintage is easily enjoyed in front of the fire with some fresh apple or cheddar.”
If dining at The Pig near Bath, Emile recommends pairing your Triple Vintage with a cured wood pigeon, served with candied parsnips. “This cured bird meat is lovely and light, with a complex and earthy taste,” he says. “The Triple Vintage pairs wonderfully with these qualities as it holds up beautifully and balances with its natural sweetness. The parsnip has a subtle glaze which leans into the warm apple flavours of the cider, giving the pairing a lovely autumnal feel.”
Sophie Bratt, Bar Manager at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square
“Showerings is an elegant cider with mild bubbles and a crisp dry finish, which makes it ideal as an aperitif or companion to food.”
According to Sophie Bratt, our Triple Vintage is almost a rival to her favourite beverage: Champagne. “Anyone who knows me knows I love Champagne, and I think the food pairings are similar – probably due to the malic acid presence,” she says. “Showerings is an elegant cider with mild bubbles and a crisp dry finish which makes it ideal as an aperitif or companion to food.”
Like Emile, she recommends drinking it with richer, more indulgent dishes; at Nobu, this is the signature miso black cod and pork belly apple wasabi. However, she also sees it working for much simpler dishes.
“Being a Yorkshire girl, I love Showerings with a classic fish and chips!” she says. “It cuts through the fat and refreshes [the palette] perfectly. It does the same with fresh spicy dishes… I make a watermelon and tomato salad with lashings of red chilli, and it is a perfect pairing.”
Charlie Hibbert, Chef Director at Thyme
“Showerings’ natural notes of bitter orange and vanilla chime particularly well with autumnal ingredients.”
“Our gardens and orchards at Thyme are currently bursting with squashes, pumpkins, and apples,” says Charlie. “Showerings cider works well as an accompaniment to dishes using these ingredients, such as soups and slow-cooked casseroles.”
His go-to pairings are game, mussels cooked in cider (“the quality of Showerings really shines through here”) and – of course – pork, which he describes as “a match made in heaven for Showerings cider.”
But what makes our cider work in these pairings – particularly when compared to wine? According to Charlie, it’s all in the acidity. “The subtle acidity of Showerings works wonders by cutting through fat and giving a real balance to a dish, plus it washes the palette clean,” he says. “Showerings’ natural notes of bitter orange and vanilla also chime particularly well with autumnal ingredients.”