Health and lifestyle benefits of cider
Cider is quite abundant in Australia, having gained popularity the past few years. A survey by Hospitality Magazine showed that apple cider had a 600% increase in popularity over a ten-year period. So, why is cider so popular? There’s probably no single reason for that, but let’s take a look at some of the reasons why cider is loved dearly by Aussies.
7 things you need to know about apple cider
There are so many interesting things to note about cider, but here are 7 of them:
- Cider has numerous health benefits.
- Apple cider is a historically ancient drink.
- The apples dictate the flavour.
- There are many styles of apple cider.
- Cider goes through a delicate production process.
- Cider is good on its own or with pairings.
- It’s great for cooking, too!
1. Cider has numerous health benefits
Alcoholic drinks get a lot of bad press for their adverse effects on health, when consumed to excess. However, much like wine, cider is considered among the most healthful alcoholic options available. If taken in moderation, it can bestow many different health benefits:
- Nutrients: Freshly picked apples are used in cider production, so it’s only natural that the product contains many nutrients. Among these are iron, calcium, and potassium. Unlike other alcoholic drinks, it also contains vitamins like vitamin A, C, and folic acid.
- Antioxidants: Like wine, cider also contains polyphenols which act as antioxidants, which can help prevent cell damage throughout the body.
- ‘Regularity’: Cider has pectin, a fibre that can promote a healthy bowel movement, but that’s not the only health benefit of pectin – it’s also associated with blood sugar regulation, relieving acid reflux, and digestive health.
- Heart health: There are substances in cider that can help prevent plaque build-up in the arteries. This is useful as excessive build-up can lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease.
- Cancer prevention: The antioxidants and some other compounds in cider are associated with cancer prevention. This is because these antioxidants bind to free radicals – thus preventing damage that can lead to cancer.
Giving alcohol as a gift is an established tradition in Australia. With the many health benefits, why not give cider as a gift instead? Cider in a personalised wine bottle, for example, is a great gift idea. Speak to the team here at Wine Design for more information.
2. Apple cider is a historically ancient drink
This beverage is ancient, having been around for thousands of years. Here are just some interesting historical facts about cider:
- From ancient England to ancient Rome: The oldest records of cider come from the ancient Romans who learned about the drink from the Celts.
- Baptisms: In the 14th century, English priests preferred using cider over water in baptisms. This is because ciders were much safer than water, which was often contaminated back in those days. Because of the alcohol content, cider had no risk of transmitting illnesses to babies.
- Cider and the pioneers: Cider was extremely common in the early days of the United States. It was a drink for both old and young alike and commonly used as a currency for tithes and wages.
3. The apples dictate the flavour
As many as 7,500 known apple varieties (known as cultivars) developed in the past hundreds of years. Each cultivar has its own flavour profile, scent, sugar content, acidity, and other characteristics.
Since apple cultivars are so different, using specific varieties in cider-making will dictate the final product. Each apple cultivar will result in a unique flavour, with some varieties used purely in cider fermentation.
If one wants a tart product, cultivars like McIntosh or Braeburn apples are best. Those who prefer sweeter ciders can go for the Delicious, Fuji, or Gala cultivars.
4. There are many styles of apple cider
Since there are thousands of apple cultivars available, it only follows that there are many unique ciders available, too. However, there are two general types, namely:
- Modern cider: Modern ciders are generally acidic and refreshing and usually have a creamier texture. Common apples used in modern cider production are the Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala, and Delicious varieties.
- Heritage cider: Heritage ciders have a higher tannin content and higher acidity levels compared to modern ciders. The apples used for production are usually cider-specific cultivars. Some specific heritage recipes also use special heirloom varieties of apples to give the product a unique taste.
Both modern and heritage ciders make excellent gift options. Have some personalised wine bottles made – it won’t matter what cider type is inside if it’s of good quality.
5. Ciders go through a delicate production process.
The cider-making process is delicate and involves three main steps:
- Pressing: The pressing process of cider-making is quite similar to its namesake in winemaking. This involves grinding down the apple into solid remains known as pomace. Juice is squeezed out from this pomace and purified via straining afterwards.
- Fermentation: The addition of yeast helps ferment the pressed juice. The preparation, variety of yeast, and specific conditions during and after fermentation all contribute to the uniqueness of each cider.
- Blending: The final step involves altering the flavour profile of the product. The product is either aged in wooden barrels for a set time or bottled immediately after.
6. Cider is good on its own or with pairings
Much like wine, cider is consumable by itself or with pairings. Common food pairings for cider include oily meats, seafood, vegetables, or cold cuts. Of course, the pairings are not limited to these – remember that each cider style has its own unique flavour. It’s helpful to try and see which food works best for the cider on-hand.
7. It’s great for cooking, too!
Cider isn’t just for drinking – it also works well as a part of cooking recipes. Common cooking uses of cider include meat braising or as part of gravy or meat sauces. Be sure to use cider with lower alcohol content.
Wine Design can transform your favourite apple ciders into customised gifts.
Why not give cider as a gift? Go the extra step and gift your loved ones some cider in personalised wine bottles. If it’s a professional to customise bottles that you need, then try out Wine Designs. You have the option of designing personalised wine bottles or leave the designing job to us. Learn more about Wine Design and what we do.