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Spanish Sidra

In an effort to cover all aspects of the Spanish beverage market, I’d like to offer this quick snapshot of Sidra – a dry or sweet, lightly alcoholic, beverage made from fermented apples.

Before I came to Spain, I expected to find wine and good food. These were givens in my head. I knew they existed and I was excited to explore all the intricacies that they held! What I did not expect to find was Sidra!

Spanish cider is a big part of life and the culinary landscape of Spain. Mainly produced in the North, there are 2 primary types of cider available throughout Spain.

First, sidra of Asturias is usually sweeter with a slight sparkle, which explodes into myriad flavors of apples and tends to complement the chorizos and seafoods unique to Spain. The second type of Sidra is from the Basque country. Usually a drier version than the one from Asturias, it sometimes is a bit austere; however, it is made more approachable by their unique serving method.

Served in a large glass, the host pours the sidra from above his head into a glass located in his other hand near his hip, filling it a little less than an inch high. Each table has one glass which is passed around and consumed in one gulp, only to be refilled again and again. The act of pouring takes out the austerity of the Sidra and softens it a bit to reveal more of the apple characteristics. Having fallen in love with English dry ciders and France’s artesinal ciders of the north before I left the states, this discovery was certainly a treat.

The best part though is how well they work with food. The acidity of an apple plays the perfect foil to fresh seafood and the sometimes sweet nature serves to mellow and expand the palate of flavors found in the countries rich Chorizo’s. This taken with the tradition of cooking with Sidra makes Sidra one of the more exciting drinks that I have encountered in Spain so far.

Next time you are in Spain make sure not to miss out on this unique Spanish treat. Sometimes the things you least expected to find can turn out to be the most interesting!

Miravalles (Sidra Natural)
brewed by
Sidra Miravalles
Villaviciosa (Austurias), Spain
3.5 out of 5
Date: 5/26/2005
Nose:7/10 Color:5/5 Taste:6/10 Palate:5/5 Overall:15/20
Bottled at Casa Mingo Madrid. Slightly cloudy gold with a delicate apple nose. Very dry in the mouth with a soft acid. Flavors of apple peal, and light fruit. Quite refreshing on a hot summers day!

Pomares Francos
brewed by
J.L. Palacio
Tinana, Asturias, Spain
3.5 out of 5
Date: 5/28/2005
Nose:5/10 Color:5/5 Taste:6/10 Palate:4/5 Overall:15/20
Pale yellow gold in color, with a light soft apple-flesh nose, and some light wood notes. Strong acid shows on the palate, tough soft in texture with crisp apple flavors. Light dry, white grape background, with notes that resemble apple core. Delicate and ethereal.

  • Jenevieve Ferraro

    I am desperately trying to purchase a case or so of Sidra as a gift can you give me any tips on wher ei can find some, who i can contact?

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  • gabriellaopaz

    Trish, Clearly it depends on where you are located, but if you are Stateside, you may want to check out the Spanish Tienda (<a href="http://www.tienda.com). “>www.tienda.com). Mind you, El Gaitero is not a "traditional" dry cider, but it's tasty all the same. If you're located elsewhere, let us know and we'll see if we can't hunt some down for you :-)

  • gabriellaopaz

    Trish, Clearly it depends on where you are located, but if you are Stateside, you may want to check out the Spanish Tienda (<a href="http://www.tienda.com). “>www.tienda.com). Mind you, El Gaitero is not a "traditional" dry cider, but it's tasty all the same. If you're located elsewhere, let us know and we'll see if we can't hunt some down for you :-)

  • gabriellaopaz

    Trish, Clearly it depends on where you are located, but if you are Stateside, you may want to check out the Spanish Tienda (<a href="http://www.tienda.com). “>www.tienda.com). Mind you, El Gaitero is not a "traditional" dry cider, but it's tasty all the same. If you're located elsewhere, let us know and we'll see if we can't hunt some down for you :-)

  • gabriellaopaz

    Trish, Clearly it depends on where you are located, but if you are Stateside, you may want to check out the Spanish Tienda (<a href="http://www.tienda.com). “>www.tienda.com). Mind you, El Gaitero is not a "traditional" dry cider, but it's tasty all the same. If you're located elsewhere, let us know and we'll see if we can't hunt some down for you :-)

  • Trish Atencio

    I am trying to purchase Sidra as a gift can you let me know where I can find some?

  • Magon Weinstein

    does anyone know how to MAKE Sidra? I'm trying to find a recipe or something but i cant find any!

  • Gabriella Opaz

    Magon, we are the the wine blogger's conference today, but will do a bit of research when we get back next week. Thanks for the question, and to be honest, I can only assume that "yes" some people do homebrew sidra, but as for an exact recipe, you're guess is as good as mine. But I'll put in some calls for you next week and see what we can't learn together. Cheers and have a great day!

  • Erik

    I too am trying to find out how to homebrew Sidra (in the US). Any information you can share would be great! Thanks. :)