I am convinced that cider is the perfect drink. This may stem from my childhood fondness for Appletiser, of which I was so dedicated to – I would go crazy if we cancelled our weekly Vietnamese restaurant visit (they were one of the few restaurants that stocked it), would hide bottles of it in the bottom of the shopping trolley so Mum would have to buy it, and it certainly never left my side come high school exams. When I discovered that there was an alcoholic version of Appletiser, and there were plenty of flavour combos and places to buy it, I was forever sold.
Cider is the drink of summer rooftops, and has recently enjoyed a massive surge in popularity amongst Melburnians. This can make it a little confronting when hitting up McCoppins and being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of brands to choose from. Luckily we're here to show you the best of Victoria's ciders so you don't have to resort to Appletiser (though there ain't nothing wrong with that!).
Price: $20 for a 4-pack | Alcohol content: 5.4%
Tastes like: Braeburn apples make for tarty apple charm teamed with an oaky aftertaste. It's a bit unusual from a standard cider but nonetheless tantalizing.
Best served: Ice cold at your next function, preferably with cheese in tow.
Trivia: Won the Victorian micro-breweries award two years in a row, and they have a duck mascot named Lucky (duh) who wears a morph suit and runs marathons.
Price: $14 for a 4-pack | Alcohol content: 5.2%
Tastes like: Using all natural apple juice and yeast, there's no added sugar in this bad boy and it certainly shines through. This golden coloured nectar is a fizzy, sweet brew and is great for drinking in the summer sunshine.
Best served: In the hand of your sexy lumberjack neighbour who's glistening from the day's labour and brought home some drinks, only to later massage your feet.
Trivia: Won People's Choice Cider last year at the Fed Square Microbrewery competition. Mikey Burton designed the cute little label too.
Price: $17 for a 4-pack | Alcohol content: 4.5%
Tastes like: This is like drinking the colour pink and is definitely one for the ladies. Clear, crisp and cheek-blushingly fizzy, this cider is the product of Batlow apple wizardry and has that delicious tart taste the apple itself.
Best served: Over ice at your next ladies lunch.
Trivia: Okay they're not technically Victorian, but this is such a tasty, pretty drop you won't mind!
Price: $17 for a 4-pack | Alcohol content: 8%
Tastes like: Okay, so this is a shamelessly girly drink. Teaming the sour brilliance of a juicy red raspberry with the mellow sweetness of a fresh pear, this cider is a grown up UDL perfect for a girls' night out.
Best served: With red lipstick and pesto dip on hand.
Trivia: Cheeky Rascal is like the Rekorderlig of Australia as they specialise in some awesome flavor combos – try the Apple Mint cider or the Ginger Berry if you're feeling dangerous.
Price: Varies, see website | Alcohol content: 9.5%
Tastes like: Royalty. Kellybrook is famous for its Champagne Cider which this year enters its 33rd year of vintage. With its crisp, champagne style finish, this is the vintage you pull out when you're feeling fresh and fancy. It's also perfect for those who don't like their cider too sweet.
Best served: When you hate champagne but you can't get away with Strongbows at a function.
Trivia: The reason it's called Champagne Cider is that they make it the way French champagne is traditionally brewed – Méthode Champenoise. They also host a cider festival every year, which is a stroke of boozy brilliance. Make sure you check it out!
Price: $16 for a 4-pack | Alcohol content: 4.5%
Tastes like: This is the best cider of the bunch. Whether it's on tap or out of a bottle, Napoleone nails it in both pear and apple styles. Not too sweet and not too dry, these guys show off their winemaking skills by pairing white wine yeast and fresh to death fruit to make a magic brew.
Best served: At your next regal dinner party.
Trivia: Punt Road Wines, which make Napoleone and Co., used to be based on Punt Road in South Yarra which was the site of juicy grapes and fermented friends before it was industrialised. Suddenly the areas abundance of drinking holes makes sense.
Price: $30 for a 6-pack | Alcohol content: 7%
Tastes like: Nothing you've ever tasted before. If you're a fan of the humble kiwi, this will be the flavour trip of a lifetime for you. They use their own Toolangi grown kiwis for medium dry cider that is bright and incredibly unique.
Best served: Lounging on a sun deck, head tilted and the smell of coconut oil in the air.
Trivia: Giverny specialises in kiwi-based drinks, so get a load of their kiwi liqueur and kiwi wine while you're out there.
Please note, all prices are a RRP, and may vary from store to store.
Image Credit: One Hungry Mama