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The dishes at Sunday evening’s supper in Electric South Mall had unusual pairings: the ciders and apple brandy from Longueville House, presented by Rupert Atkinson who surprised many with his declaration against ice in your cider!
“No ice! It waters down the flavours and kills the carbon. Enjoy this like a wine, in a wine glass.” So we sipped this naturally cloudy cider and we did enjoy it very much indeed with our starter: Butternut Squash Salad (with Roast Red Peppers, Crumbled Feta, and Spiced Peanuts).
There was a big welcome from Rupert as we arrived and he soon had us seated with a tall glass of Cider Sangria in our hands. Outside, summer hadn't quite broken through as forecast but inside we enjoyed this very refreshing drink.
As the mains were being served, the Longueville House man introduced us to their Cider Mór, aptly named as the ABV here is 8%. He explained that a little apple brandy has been added to this limited edition. Again no ice but you may serve it straight from the fridge. It should do well with the fish and chips and it did.
Harvest time at Longueville
Many of you will know that the Electric version of Fish and chips is an excellent example; the fish is not smothered in batter. Oh yes, they do use a batter and Sunday's was featherly light and the delicious fish was immediately apparent, not hard to find in a large pocket. The full description: Cider & Dill Battered Hake, Leek and Pea Purée, Chips and Tartare Sauce.
We would finish with a flourish. Hegarty’s Cheddar was paired with the Longueville House Apple Brandy. “This is made in Whitechurch and is one of Ireland's best cheeses”, said Rupert; it was served with apple, relish and crostini.
Like all the ciders, the brandy comes from apples grown in the orchards of Longueville. We enjoyed the 2009 vintage and it was quite a while in the making. Its story started with the 2006 apple crop. Three years later, the cider is doubled distilled and then the brandy spends a minimum of four years in French red wine casks.
“No mixer needed,” Rupert emphasised. “It is very smooth, no burning and good for digestion, best after a good meal. If it feels a little cool, just warm it in the palm of the hand.” So lots of good advice, good food and good drink all added up to a very enjoyable evening at Electric. Click here to read all about my visit to Longueville House and its orchards last autumn.