In challenging times such as this, it can take more effort than usual to steer our view in a positive direction, but observing nature can help. For example, the National Trust has been encouraging people to use #BlossomWatch on Twitter (@nationaltrust) to share photos with others who can’t see the new season’s blossom for themselves right now, in a bid to lift everyone’s spirits.
As we head into Spring – and with Easter on the horizon – it’s also a chance to focus on new beginnings and the hope that they can inspire. Whether you will be celebrating with your household or arranging virtual get-togethers with friends and family around the world, taking time to stay connected is another vital way of keeping body and soul together.
If you are planning an Easter meal we have some suggestions for food and drink pairings with our award-winning ciders, plus a very tasty discount on some of our best-sellers.
Our cider story
It was more than twenty years ago that we started making our ciders using the pressed juice of locally grown traditional cider varieties such as Dabinett, Kingston Black and Yarlington Mill. We source all of these from The Somerset Cider Brandy Company, nestled at the base of Burrow Hill in South Somerset, which has itself been in business for over 200 years.
At one time a replacement for water as the safe drink for farm-hands and workers, there are also clear historical records of cider featuring on the gentry table. We, of course, have always been cider fans, and are continually innovating our flavour combinations to offer something new.
Ask for Annings
Made exclusively by us, Annings Fruit Ciders blend real fruit extracts with cider to produce a range of refreshingly moreish drinks in six delicious flavours that are a world away from the sugary alternatives on the market.
For a light and refreshing drink, our Annings Elderflower & Cucumber is a limited edition fruit cider, made with elderflower juice and cucumber extracts. Any dish that goes well with a sauvignon blanc is also a good match for elderflower drinks, and food and wine pairings expert Fiona Beckett says many kinds of salads are a perfect partner, recommending a Greek salad with feta and olives, or one with goats cheese and beetroot as an ideal complement.
Jack Ratt Vintage still cider
Although pork is a common food pairing with cider, our Jack Ratt Vintage still cider is a full-bodied, filtered strong cider that cuts through the sweetness of Spring’s traditional favourite lamb dishes.
Ham is also eaten at Easter because it was cured during the winter months and ready to eat by the time spring arrived. There are lots of recipes for cooking ham in cider, but as a general rule of thumb start by soaking it in plenty of cold water in the fridge for at least two hours, drain well and place in a large pan with spices and seasoning of your choice, and enough cider to cover the meat.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, partly covered with a lid, until cooked through. Reserve the stock to sieve and make into a sauce, then transfer to a roasting dish, score the skin and roast until the outside is crispy.
Jack Ratt Scrumpy still ciders
If you have more of a sweet tooth try our medium sweet Jack Ratt Scrumpy still, filtered cider that pairs perfectly with fellow apple-based puddings or apricot deserts.
Indeed, when it comes to sweeter ciders, Fiona suggests that they work well with bread pudding and gingerbread too.
Jack Ratt Vintage sparkling cider
For those who prefer some pop in their bottle, our Jack Ratt Vintage sparkling cider is just the ticket. Full-bodied with a rich, apple tannin aroma and a long, smooth finish it makes a brilliant drink alongside all kinds of cheeses – but especially soft cheeses such as brie, camembert, brie and ricotta – as the perfect final course of your Easter feast.