Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Statistics Show Growth in Cider as Favoured Festive Tipple – With Mulled Cider a Hit with Consumers*

Cider sales up from 15.96 million litres to 16 million litres during winter months of 2018 compared to 2017

18th December 2019 - Irish cider is known and loved as a drink that goes hand in hand with sunny weather and is enjoyed during the summer months.

Popular at barbeques, in beer gardens and at festivals, few may associate it with colder weather and the winter months.

But according to Drinks Ireland|Cider, cider is not just a drink for summer, as many people believe, but is enjoyed throughout the year, particularly during the Christmas period.

Last year, 16 million litres of cider was sold in Ireland during the fourth quarter of the year, which includes October, November and December. This was up from 15.96 million litres during the fourth quarter of the previous year.

In 2016, sales of cider in Ireland were actually HIGHER in the fourth quarter of the year (18.8million litres sold), than in the second or third quarter (18.4 million litres and 13.7 million litres respectively).

And this year, delicious winter warmer Irish cider recipes and products are proving popular among consumers, and sales of cider are set to see an increase again. Mulled cider has emerged as an alternative to mulled wine and hot apple brandy has emerged an alternative to hot whiskey.

These drinks offer the perfect treat for a festive gathering, or just to enjoy by the fire up on the couch with a good book on a chilly evening.

With 75% of cider purchased in Ireland from Irish cider producers, your winter drink can be locally sourced. Many small and artisan producers also grow their own apples. It is estimated that over 50,000 tonnes of Irish apples are used every year to manufacture cider in Ireland. So, it can truly be an orchard to glass experience.

Jonathan McDade, Head of Drinks Ireland|Cider:

“Cider is evolving as a drinks category, with plenty of new products and producers on the market in recent years, driving innovation in the sector, and ultimately offering more choice for the consumer. The latest figures, for the first three quarters of this year, shows that cider sales rose marginally by 0.43% in Ireland compared to the same period in 2018.

“There is a sense of excitement and creativity in the sector, which has resulted in a number of festive products being released this year, perfect for those colder winter months. For example, Legacy Cider has created a festive “Legacy Mulled Cider”, which blends orange zest, spices and the award-winning Legacy Irish cider from Co. Waterford. This is just one of the many examples on the market this year!

“It’s great to see the industry evolve and we look forward to a strong 2020.”

* To celebrate the Christmas season, Irish cider producers have devised two winter warmer cider recipes:

Mulled Irish cider recipe

1 litre of Highbank Medieval Cider
2 cinnamon sticks
6 star anise
3 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
1 pomegranate, juice and seed of
1 orange, juice of and rind for serving
4-5 tbsp of golden sugar

• Pop the cider into a large pan on a low heat and allow to warm up for a few minutes.
• Add all the spices and juices and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
• As everything is mulling begin to taste and add sugar to achieve your desired sweetness.
• When you are happy serve in a beautiful cup with a rind of orange for decoration.

Hot Apple Brandy recipe

360ml water
2 teaspoons of honey
1 lemon, juiced
9 cloves
470ml Highbank Apple Brandy
8 sticks of cinnamon

• In a saucepan bring the water to boil.
• Remove from heat and add the honey, cloves, lemon juice and Highbank Apple Brandy.
• When serving add a cinnamon stick to each heatproof mug.