The Truth about Traditional Cider:
Traditionally, Le cidre de pomme francais (French cider) by law, is made by the partial or total wild fermentation of only pure juice from cider apples or cider pears (or both) resulting in a sweet, semi-sweet or dry sparkling lightly alcoholic beverage.
The less it is filtered, the better it keeps and the more it maintains its original high aromatic concentration. But of course, it may have more sediment (deposit) at the bottom of the bottle, a sure sign of quality which is totally contrary to the popular perception in Australia that sediment is 'bad'.
Unfortunately, these traditional French ciders represent merely 2%-3% of the world production of apple or pear cider.
The problem with Australian Ciders:
Mediocrity begins when some national legislation allow up to 45% water in the cider (yep, that happens here in Australia), then comes the addition of a neutral spirit to raise the alcoholic content, or the addition of the so called apple juice (which is really just de-frozen concentrated juice of fruit apples, instead of the traditional use of cider apples).
The ultimate insult is when water, alcohol, synthetic aromatics, artificial carbonation, industrial sweeteners, colours, a dash of apple, etc, combine to give you that tremendously exhilarating soda pop feeling!
In Australia, these 'Ciders' are far more similar to Apple Lagers or pre-mixed drinks. The market is populated with the soda pop ciders and sadly the average Australian consumer idea of a good cider is essentially just a high-quality soda pop cider, and not an authentic cider.
So, for your next proper cider experience, demand the bottle with the sediment; just pour it gently towards the end.
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