Tag Archive: cider


Review: William Premium Cider

When I first moved to Toronto back in 2001, the only cider you could get was Strongbow. I had a lot of fun drinking six-packs in High Park but due to my generally-high levels of consumption, I soon grew tired of the bubbly, apple beverage.

Over the years, I’ve tried every cider out there, from Bulmer’s to Gaymer’s but I’ve stuck to the English ciders because their Canadian counterparts are usually sugary and about as enjoyable as a cooler.

On a recent expedition to my local LCBO, I picked up  a new can of cider. I didn’t pay much attention to what it was all about (novelty can go a long way with me) but when I examined William Premium Cider (173039, 473 mL, $2.75)  closer later on, I was pleased to see that not only was it Canadian but certified organic as well.

After letting it chill, I cracked open the can and poured myself a glass and goddamn if it didn’t snack-crackle-pop with the sheer force of the carbonation! While the head dissipated rather quickly, the bubbles continued for a good long while. A nose of apple and pear continues into its taste which is thankfully not too sweet; about on the level of a extra-dry sparkling wine. Without lingering around like a recalcitrant guest, it provides the kind of finish that complimented the rotisserie chicken and bok choi (sautéed with garlic and sesame seeds) that I paired it with.

It would go equally well with a spinach salad, particularly if one were to add candied pecans and strawberries or something along those lines. Whether you drink it by itself or alongside a meal, William Premium Cider definitely holds its own against Strongbow or Magner’s and has the added benefit of coming from our side of the pond.

(Image taken from Conception Focus. My camera’s acting up…)

The holidays = better drinking?

Christmas season for me means drinking with my family which also means being able to sample some fine wines that I wouldn’t normally be able to lay my hands on. In fact, I had so much of a good time that I’m having trouble remembering exactly what I had beyond varietals; I know I had a Pinot Noir from Niagra that was pretty good and a Cabarnet Sauvignon from California that wasn’t but I’ll have to reconvene with my mum, collectively put together some details and write up my impressions in a week or so.

In the meantime, I just opened a can of Gaymer’s Original Cider, a new release from one of those brewers who’s been bought up several times. It’s not as heavily carbonated as Strongbow but it’s nothing special either. It’s not too sweet, not too dry, finishes without any appreciable flavour and has a pearish nose.

Perfectably acceptable and I wouldn’t turn down a pint from a friend but neither would I seek it out again. I think it’s a perfect example of a product with mass appeal that will neither excite or disgust anyone ie. rather boring.

Wednesday I’m heading over to one of my favorite locals, the Rasputin Vodka Bar for their New Year’s Eve celebration. $25 gets me in with a all the zakusky (Russian delicacies like sausage, pickles, smoked fish, caviar, etc.) I could want, two cocktails and a glass of sparkling wine (I really like it when they say sparkling wine instead of champagne. Offering “champagne” seems just a bit disingenuous when it’s really VQA or Californian.) for the midnight countdown. It should be a whole lot more fun than any overpriced and overrated event downtown.

The owners have been nothing but gracious and I can’t imagine any place I’d rather be on NYE with the exception of a beach in New Zealand with my fiancee.

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