both are perfect to have on a summer day
The alcohol market continues to grow in India and that includes the rise of ciders from India.
This beverage is made from the fermented juice of apples and it is a favourite across the world, especially during summer.
While beer remains the main alcoholic drink of choice, ciders from India are on the rise.
Breweries are taking advantage of the country’s hot climate to make cider.
Local apples are being taken advantage of to make the refreshing drink and some breweries are even infusing their ciders with other fruits, such as mangoes.
Some Indian ciders have achieved popularity to an extent that they are being exported to other countries.
As the market is ripe for more brands to make their mark, here are 10 of the best ciders from India to drink.
Thirsty Fox is based in Mumbai and was launched in 2019 by Siddharth Sheth.
It quickly achieved success, winning ‘India Cider of the Year’ in 2020 and 2021 at the prestigious New York International Cider Competition.
Thirsty Fox uses American apples but they are fermented and matured in India.
Their two ciders are Izzy and Reed.
If you want something sweet, go for Izzy. It is a golden, easy-to-drink cider with subtle flavours of citrus honey.
However, the most popular is Reed. It is a ruby-red, semi-dry cider that has hints of cherry and peppercorn.
But both are perfect to have on a summer day, whatever the occasion.
Both ciders are also gluten-free.
Wildcraft Beverages was founded by Priyanka and Mehul Patel. It was launched to deliver fresh ciders to consumers.
Based in Mumbai, Wildcraft Beverages produces cider in small batches using homegrown ingredients that are sourced from local farmers.
Their drinks contain natural antioxidants and are neither too sweet nor too dry, making them well-balanced.
The Hard Apple Cider is well-known as it is branded “India’s strongest apple cider”.
It even uses apple skin to provide an extra burst of fruity freshness.
Wildcraft also offers a range of ciders in different flavours. This includes Mulberry, Coffee-Orange and Mango, among others.
All its ingredients are sourced from different regions of India.
For example, the coffee is from Karnataka while the oranges are from Maharashtra.
White Owl was founded in 2014 by Javed Murad and he wanted to tap into India’s craft beer space.
The company brews smooth Belgian whits and American pale ales.
But it also produces cider. After achieving success on taps in Mumbai and Pune, it was bottled and readily available to buy.
The Apple Cider Ale is brewed with Himalayan apples and champagne yeast.
It was a first-of-its-kind cider and according to White Owl:
“It is armed with a bold sweet-apple finish [and] brewed with champagne yeast, which gives it a unique, bubbly appearance and is perfect for those who prefer slightly sweeter, less bitter brews.”
Independence Brewing Company
Independence Brewing Company was started by Shailendra Bist and Avanish Vellanki as a means of tapping into the small cider market in India.
The Pune-based company serves the need of both beer fans and cider enthusiasts.
The brand offers a variety of interesting beers, craft ales and stouts that are usually infused with local fruits.
But it is the cider that is what gives this brand such a loyal following.
It has two ciders on offer that have different flavour profiles.
The classic Homing Pigeon Cider is a tart apple cider with a crisp mouthfeel and a semi-dry finish.
The Strawberry Cider is a sweeter option, fermented with fresh strawberries that is perfect on a hot day.
Siqera makes homegrown cider in the town of Manesar, Gurgaon.
A variety of Fuji, Golden Delicious and McIntosh apples are used.
They are fermented with handpicked champagne yeast strains and matured to create their sparkling, light-amber Apple Cider.
This cider is semi-sweet and medium-bodied, offering fruity and tart flavours along with a dash of pepper.
Siqera’s other cider is Mango Cider. It is an aromatic beverage that is made with Alphonso mangoes and has a golden-straw colour.
As well as cider, Siqera also makes perries (pear ciders).
The two perries that they make are Jamun Perry and Guava Perry.
Effingut Brewerkz was launched in 2014 and it combined its passion for beer and its love of experimentation to create craft beers.
It is available at five locations across Pune and Mumbai.
While Effingut is known for brewing popular craft beers, it also offers a range of ciders that are great for the summer.
Its classic Apple Cider is made from apples sourced from Kashmir and it is developed on the traditional ciders that are popular in England.
It has a tart finish and well-carbonated for a refreshing taste.
The Strawberry Cider is a newer option, offering sweetness from the strawberries that is balanced nicely with the tartness from the apples.
A seasonal option is their Mango Cider that is made with Alphonso mangoes from local organic farms.
Crafters is a Mumbai-based microbrewery that offers a variety of quality craft beers.
It also offers an Apple Cider.
It is semi-dry with medium acidity and tannins that provide a nice balance.
This cider is made from Kashmiri apples, offering subtle tartness with substantial body and character.
It has a deep golden colour and the slight sourness make it a great drink to have alongside spicy Indian dishes.
The spiciness contrasts with the sourness to provide a nice balance of flavours, making this a cider from India that you must try.
In 2018, Moonshine Meadery became India’s first Meadery and it was created by Rohan Rehani and Nitin Vishwas.
Meads are one of the oldest drinks known to mankind.
It is a gluten-free alcoholic drink that is created by fermenting honey with various fruits and spices.
Moonshine Meadery’s unique selling point is that the ingredients are experimented with in order to bring fresh beverage varieties.
The cider that they offer is called Apple Cyder Mead.
It is a classic cider made with Kashmiri apples.
This drink has a slight sweetness from the multifloral honey. It is semi-dry but is refreshing, making it suitable for a hot day.
Himachal Cider is a premium cider that uses Himalayan mountain water and apples grown in Himachal Pradesh.
This combination results in an authentic medium cider that is lightly sparkling with a distinctively fruity flavour.
Himachal is brewed on a small scale, specifically for the UK market.
Drinks are distributed mainly in restaurants and bars in the Yorkshire and Lancashire area. But it is becoming increasingly more available in other parts of the UK.
The fruity flavour makes it a refreshing drink for the summer.
It also makes a great accompaniment to spicy food as it helps to contain the spices and also provides a refreshing reset to the palate.
Tempest is a cider brand located in Himachal Pradesh, using local apples.
Cider manufacturer Dinesh Gupta launched the brand and it uses fresh apples and processes them in a state-of-the-art plant set up with Italian manufacturer Della-Taffola’s machinery.
Gupta says: “We use natural spring water of the Shimla hills for our product.
“Quality and hygiene are ensured in the brewing vessels and the unique flavour of fresh apples is retained as the product is unpasteurised.”
The natural taste and aroma of the apples are retained in the cider because the climate favours the cultivation.
It is very light-bodied and has a mild flavour, making it great to use in cocktails.
The hint of alcoholic sweetness and the inherent mellowness is a good alternative for traditional drinkers.
These ciders from India will continue to grow in popularity, especially during the hot weather.
All have a range of flavours and aromas that are bound to entice different taste preferences.
Because the Indian cider market is still quite new, it is guaranteed that more breweries will create flavourful ciders.
So, if you are looking to try something crisp and cooling, try these ciders out and see what you think.