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05-10-2011, 17:00
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Since blogging I’ve been chronicling many of the wonderful products that sit firmly in the “cheap” and “mainstream” category of the drinker’s cannon. My overriding reason for doing so is to offer a counter to the view that such products are crap and instead offer the view that actually most of them are alright and a bargain to boot.
One product I had a go of a while back was “basics” cider, blogged here (http://cookinglager.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-am-cider-drinker.html). A surprisingly cheap and quite pleasant product for those of us for whom “discerning grog appreciation” means throwing it down our necks and enjoying getting a little tidily.
If you look at the latest Gordon’s Gin Commercial here (http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2011/08/02/24340-ad-of-the-day-gordon-s-gin-philip-glenister/), which nicely pokes a little gentle fun at wine bores whilst promoting a decent mainstream drink with unpretentious values you wonder why so many think aping the pretention of wine bores is any way to promote beer. Beer in most of its forms, pongy ale included, is a decent enjoyable unpretentious drink. Promoting values it already possesses appears a better strategy than copying the nonsense associated with wine.
This post isn’t about beer, it’s about cider. A drink I really only like in its mainstream commercial form. I quite the odd pint of “real” cask pong, I’d run a mile from the rancid gut rot sold as “real” cider. The cheapest mainstream cider fits into the value ranges and unlike the value ranges of beer it actually has an acceptable taste and abv. It’s a bit watery compared with a Magners but not so much as to be unacceptable or unpleasant considering 2 litres can be bought for more or less the same price as 568ml or 500ml if you’re buying a regular brand.
This grog has become a regular guilty pleasure since I discovered it. After a spot of gardening it’s quite nice to sit on a folding camper chair, smell the freshly cut grass and neck a couple of ice cold glasses of fizzy sweetness.
Tesco has to be the brand of choice. Sainsbury’s have shamefully increased the price of theirs to £1.89 (http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/sainsburys-price-comparison/Cider_And_Alcopops/Sainsburys_Basics_Cider_2L.html). Tesco are a more reasonable £1.39 (http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/tesco-price-comparison/Cider_And_Alcopops/Tesco_Value_Dry_Cider_2L.html). Also Tesco interestingly put the ingredients on the bottle and you’ll be pleased to note the prime ingredient is “fermented cider”.
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In order to fully appreciate the nose and bouquet of this fine vintage pick a stemmed glass that enables you to swirl it about and release its aromas. Get your nose in there for a wonderful appley delight and swig with unreserved pleasure. 2 litres gets you nicely on the way to being pissed at a price of mere buttons. Coins you might find between the cushions of your sofa. What’s stopping you?

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