Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Non-Alcoholic Cider Gems By Highbank and Stonewell

Non-Alcoholic Cider Gems 

By Highbank and Stonewell 

Two of the best non-alcoholic drinks, across cider, wine and beer, that you are likely to come across. 

Highbank Organic Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Drivers Cider, 0% ABV, 330 ml bottle, Ballymaloe Food Festival

Made with Organic Cider apples from the Highbank Farm in

Cuffsgrange, Kilkenny, this light gold-coloured cider is made for the driver but I reckon quite a few of the passengers would also enjoy it. And if you’re on your own, you may like to know that you can keep it for up to a limit of four days after opening.

It is a limited edition from their own Blusher Apples. Blusher apples are sweet and crisp, with a slight sharp 'cider' like taste - they are cider apples, but also great eaters! The tartness of the apples ensures a balance here and you have a lovely and refreshing cider in your glass, not to mention a well-made one. Enjoy the flavours and the lip-smacking finish!

There are no added sugar or chemicals, no added suplhites and it is also gluten free. The cider apples are from Highbank’s own organic farm.

Stonewell Non-Alcoholic Cider, 0% ABV, 330 ml bottle, Bradleys

Colour of this Stonewell is light gold with bright micro-bubbles sparkling in the glass. Lots of light fruit flavours, finishing dry. As they say themselves, a ”refreshing alternative for all those looking to avoid the sickly sweet mocktails or fizzy rock shandies at a social occasion”.

Why make a non-alcoholic cider? Stonewell’s answer:  “Times change and so do we!

Sometimes by principle or circumstance, it’s better not to consume alcohol.

Traditionally we’ve been an alcoholic beverage maker, namely cider. So for to us to produce a non-alcoholic beverage we’ve had to go back to the drawing board and return to our studies to find out best way to square this circle. Instead of simply trying to make a concoction with fresh apple juice, we opted for the more complex route of removing alcohol from a normal cider.” 

They fermented a cider using typical bittersweet apples. Once fermented they then used a process of osmosis, or to be precise reverse osmosis, to extract the alcohol from the cider. “This leaves a lot of the characteristics created by the fermentation process but with the added bonus that there’s no alcohol.” 

At this stage of the process the cider is still “dry”, in other words, contains no sweetness, so to finish off this blend they add a small amount of apple juice which broadens the mouthfeel and brings a delightful fruity aroma.

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