AYO Twist - Hopped Apple Cider

With more and more craft ciders popping up in your local supermarkets, you will have seen all sorts of unusual variations in an attempt to stand out from the crowd. From oak aged ciders to dry or strong ciders, not to mention the array of fruity combinations ciders take on these days.

One slightly more out-there style of cider you may not have seen is ‘hopped’ cider. These were around for a short time in the commercial market, which is a shame because the floral and zesty aroma hops provide is an excellent match to the fruity, refreshing flavour of a crisp apple cider. I can only guess the reason it hasn’t really taken off yet is down to the heavy association hops have with beer and this might put cider lovers off trying them in their favourite drink.

You can still find them in supermarkets and online however if you want to try one. This US dry hopped Devon cider is available in Morrisons for example. Or, you can very easily Make Your Own with just one addition to the MYO Apple Cider.

Apple Cider with a Hop Twist

This is a very simple recipe addition. When making MYO Apple Cider, follow the instructions as usual, and on day 5 of fermentation pour 100g of dry Citra Hops into the fermentation bucket, this is called ‘dry hopping’ and is the exact same process in beer making. You don’t need to stir as the hops will disperse by themselves. Replace the lid and leave the cider to finish fermenting for the remaining 2 to 3 days and continue to follow the instructions.

Note – dry hopping can result in small hop particles in the finished cider. If this concerns you, you could use a hop bag for dry hopping. Just be aware, this may result in less hop flavour and aroma in the finished cider.

You can easily get Citra hops online from most online brew stores such as this.

We’ve suggested Citra hop as we know this works well; it has a strong citrus profile with hints of grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas which are balanced by the crisp fruitiness of apples in the cider. However, if you wish to experiment, other hops which should work well include Amarillo, Motueka and Galaxy – let us know in the comments which ones have worked for you.