I have a friend who can't make any important life decisions without having a 'decider' or two first.
Even if you don't necessarily ascribe cider with such mystical powers of guidance, you have to admit it's a very agreeable refreshment if you're not in the mood for beer or wine.
And thankfully, long gone are the days when the only three ciders available on the Australian market were Strongbow: Sweet, Dry or Draft.
Riding on the back of the craft beer craze, cider drinking is also becoming ever more common, with new brands popping up at bottle shops and bars all the time. As with beer or wine, there is a huge variety of ciders around, and one kind can taste vastly different from the next. From breezy summer refreshers to burly winter heart-warmers, there is a drop for every occasion.
Sticking with apple to start with, here are 10 of our favourite ciders available in Australia, ranging from the lightest at the top, down to the more robust options at the bottom of the list.
Let us know in the comments section if you have a pick of your own.
1. Rekorderlig Premium Apple Cider
Known for their funky range of cider flavours, Rekorderlig's basic apple variety is light and fresh and easy to drink. It has a sweet, florally taste and smell with an apple-y aftertaste, and though it's not really what I'm after in a cider, if you're say, a girl, there's a good chance you'll like it.
2. Batlow Cloudy
From: New South Wales
The good folk at Batlow have been growing apples in the Snowy Mountains since 1922 so the edge they have when it comes to making cider is that their source material is of the highest quality. Even the stickers on the bottle look a lot like the little stickers you see on apples, which is pretty cute. Their cloudy apple variety is the lighter of the two. It's slightly sweet and very drinkable.
3. Tappo Sidro
Though they hail from Coorparoo, the folk at Tappo are very much going for the Italian angle with their cider. It was no surprise to read on the label that Tappo is produced at a winery, as the clear cider has an almost Pinot Grigio-like flavour to it. If you're unsure whether you're in the mood for wine or cider, this might be the right option for you.
4. Batlow Premium
From: New South Wales
This is pretty much my favourite cider to drink when I want something crisp and refreshing on a hot day. It's fruity and fragrant without being too sweet, and you can really taste the apples (three and a half in every bottle, apparently).
5. The Hills Apple & Ginger Cider
From: Adelaide Hills (with Queensland ginger)
At 8%, this cider certainly has a bit of a kick. The genius of the subtle tinge of ginge, however, is that it rounds out the flavour and makes it quite easy to quaff. A pretty pleasant way to get Picassoed on a sunny afternoon, all things considered.
6. Willie Smith's Organic Apple Cider
It is recommended you drink Willie Smith's without any ice. It's a full-bodied cider made in the French farmhouse style (I've never tasted a French farmhouse, so can't confirm if that's accurate). The colour of a murky billabong, it certainly has an interesting and enjoyable combination of flavours.
7. Lobo Cloudy Cider
From: South Australia
Lobo wins the award for fanciest label hands down, but it's also a tasty dark cider that will have you trying to detect the different flavours. It calls itself 'untamed' and although I don't totally understand what that means, it seems an appropriate description.
8. Westons Wyld Wood Organic Cider
They may be rubbish at cricket but the Brits, in general, have a much richer cider culture than we do here in Australia. Star import Wyld Wood might cost you more than the local product, but it will give you an idea of the English cider philosophy. This is not a wussy alternative to beer. It's a rugged, manly and delectable rival to beer.
9. Frome Valley Henney's Dry Cider
Now we're getting into hair-on-chest territory. Dark amber in colour, this British cider has the tart taste of ripe, bittersweet apples. It will have you puckering your lips and banging your fist on the table contentedly. It boasts a magnificently simple, old-school label as well.
10. Gwynt y Ddraig Gold Medal Cider
The colour of dragon's pee, this one is Welsh farmhouse style (they taste different to French farmhouses) and packs quite a punch. The flavour is fairly intense, but a subtle hint of honey rounds it out nicely to make it all very agreeable. A unique cider that is well worth trying.
Image credits: OneWed