Last Wednesday the New Sydney Hotel held a cider tasting night. Ticket cost was $40 and that covered ciders and food. It was brilliant - some interesting and uncommon ciders matched with some fabulous food. They were very generous with the cider too - it just kept on coming!
We started off with a glass of Napoleon Perry - I've had their apple cider before but not the pear, and it was really nice. This was matched with 'Two flavours of cider: tea of cider hot and cold', which you can see in the smaller, right-hand glass in the picture below. It was made up of two layers of a cider jelly - the top 'hot' layer had chilli, ginger and juniper berries, and the bottom cold layer had lemongrass and something that I have forgotten - perhaps elderflower? It was really interesting to drink - I noticed a few people around us didn't finish theirs but I loved it. The chef told us what the jelly was made with - not gelatine or agar agar, but another combination of fancy ingredients/chemicals that escapes me...
Most of the food involved heading up to the chef's table at the front to grab a plate - this is the preparation of the next course:
...which was rolled chicken, silverbeet, purple potato, chicken glaze. Very tasty and it matched nicely with the True South Miss Muffet apple cider. This cider was new to me and my favourite from the night. I'm happy to see that the New Sydney now has this on tap.
Next up was apple and mustard cured salmon with lemon myrtle cream and an apple wafer. The salmon was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
It was matched with the Green Goblin cider - the match was really good, although it's not a favourite cider of mine.
Next we had 'crisp pork fingers with apple' which were presented like pork lollipops. Another excellent match here, paired with Aspall cider from the UK.
Elderflower sorbet with crisp chilli, served with Inn Cider. The sorbet was nicely refreshing and I've been a fan of Inn Cider for a while, but it was probably the least successful pairing of the night.
With many drinks comes fuzzy photos taken after food has been nibbled on... these cheeses were served with crackers, bread and two jellies including a very nice raspberry jelly. Loved the soft cheese. It was served with Kelly Brothers cider.
We finished up with crispy, sweet beetroot biscuits served with a hot apple cider topped with foam. The menu had 'cider macaroon' as the final course, and I was a bit sad not to get this - perhaps something went wrong...
Our pile of drinks by the end of the night!
During the tasting we had talks from a new cider producer, a cider judge and one of the New Sydney's chefs, both very informative and it was clear that lots of people there were very interested in what they had to say.
It was a great night with HEAPS of cider and tasty food. I hope they do another one soon! (this was the first cider tasting night but they've held beer and whiskey tastings before).
A few cider drinkers read this blog - what's your favourite? :)