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No lifestyle items were dedicated to it, it was never a trend or it seemed to be



Until a few years ago, the word cider - actually cider, not exactly the same - began to travel the planet in a kind of pomological fever that emulated some

tics of craft beer


There are reasons to become fashionable: a low alcoholic and also caloric content as it is a fermented fruit and not cereal like beer, whose consumption is stagnating, and that some ciders have bubbles, something that sells well.

In short, it is a drink that almost everyone likes and that seems designed for the



, who supposedly wants to drink less and healthier.

Although Spain cider is

still anchored to the more traditional world

and to the celebration of family consumption, something is happening: the diversity of the range and the



of the

El Gaitero


, which turns 130;

the agitation caused by the entry into the sector of brands such as

Apple Thief

, or the role played by some import activists reveal some keys to this new cider age.

A fact: according to the



, while in 2011 the cider market moved

50 million dollars

in sales, in 2019 it reached 550 million.

No drink has experienced such a wild rise.

We are talking about a global phenomenon that goes from Canada to New Zealand, from Mexico to Europe, where there are different styles marked by the varieties of its apples: those of the United Kingdom and France are more bitter, those of Germany, Austria or Spain are more acidic, where Supermarket sales

rose 18%

last year to € 66 million.

The latter cider countries that are being swept away in enthusiasm by the Nordic and Eastern European countries, without prior schooling.

It all (re) started in the United States in 2012. The Angry Orchard brand was born, owned by the beer giant

The Boston Beer Company

(parent company of Samuel Adams), and suddenly it became the largest cider company in the country with an industrial production of about 22 million liters.

Most billed for cheap cans, okay.

But with the muscle to spend $ 10 million at his Walden, New York, factory, start a





and hand the toy to bearded young Ryan Burk to design his whims for $ 30 a collector's bottle.

Be careful, being a cider very similar to the Asturian one that sells here for three euros.

This is how the success of this marketing operation was forged that


- image and labeling - a century-old drink.

Companies like Downeast also joined the unfiltered craft cider bandwagon, in tins even with seasonal products such as grapefruit, pineapple or pumpkin.



what about Spain and its cider?

One that has always been associated with the pouring ritual, which is a Spain brand, but which in the world has not enjoyed recognition until four days ago.

Despite the export vocation of El Gaitero, present in 30 countries thanks to products such as Chip, a sparkling drink with flavors based on apple juice, or Mon Basart, sparkling wines widely accepted in the Caribbean.

At least it is beginning to appear on paper:


, the Anglo-Saxon bible of liquid culture, has just dedicated a vibrant report to Spanish cider, both Asturian and Basque sagardo.

It emphasizes their social condition, which the virus has threatened.

It points out that, while natural wine shines in the wine world

, Spanish natural cider does not seem to take flight.

It is still not glamorous: "Cider



the champagne of the poor

", likes to say to Tano Collada, sommelier and winemaker at El Gaitero.

"People still want something worth 1.5 euros."

Cider was always the champagne of the poor, people want it to cost 1.5 euros

Tano Collada, winemaker at El Gaitero

This does not mean that quality initiatives cease.

If it were, we found ciders mixed with quince like the German Cydonia or biodynamic like the Italian


, here there are ginger or dessert, carbonated cans with hints of honey, ciders with citrus and floral contributions, and even natural cider vermouths.

It is the struggle between traditional knowledge and adaptation to new global markets.

And in this came Apple Thief, hand in hand with the Heineken house, and swept ... on social networks.

It was positioned at events and festivals as a soft drink for all audiences

labeled cider (the regulations prevent them from calling themselves cider, as is the case with Mercadona's Will Panther).

But far from perverting the orthodox cider apparatus, it did him a favor.

He had built a category.

Returning to that electric, acid and tannic pinch capable of evoking decades of family work, there are

the 130 years of El Gaitero

, an icon to discover that revolutionized cider at the end of the 19th century, whose set of wineries, Industrial Historical Heritage, can be visited, but whose acts of celebration have had to be suspended due to the pandemic.

"We hope to last another 130 at least," says Ricardo Cabeza, CEO and fifth generation of the Fernández family.

“The changes have come in the last 15. We were pioneers, although champagne cider was born as a result of innovation.

Our Asturians from the American continent demanded cider but the natural one was spoiled during the trip.

One way to preserve it was to sweeten and carbonate it


Innovation is part of our tradition.

Thus, although their classic cider is the same as always, in recent times they have developed sparkling natural ciders or alcohol-free cider, unique on the market.

"Valle, Ballina and Fernández Brut, from the second fermentation in the bottle, are at the level of any good champagne or cava", says Cabeza.

“We have

an ice cider

that is made with frozen apple must, of which we need 10 kilos to make one liter.

Our natural second fermentation ciders in granvas, dry and with endogenous carbon dioxide, such as Pomarina and Black Label, are not dessert ciders, but to eat, like cava.

Black Label is about four euros and is a top quality cider ».

This is confirmed by Tano Collada, the Spanish Ryan Burk, responsible for the winery as a third generation in the area and for the plantation of 45 hectares of PDO Sidra de Asturias.


silver and gold labels were typical for Christmas.

Twenty years ago we started to make new products: the second fermentation in the bottle, one similar to a prosecco, another similar to the poured but filtered to serve in the glass, the without, the semi-sweet thirds, one with red grape juice, a juice canned, and ice, the last thing we get.

The boom is due to the fact that it is a low-alcoholic drink alternative to beer or wine

Ricardo Head

In total, about fifteen products for all kinds of moments.

If El Gaitero makes about

25 million bottles a year

, almost 20 correspond to the traditional product.

Meanwhile, 1898 ice cider is prescribed in Michelin restaurants such as Casa Marcial or Casa Gerardo.

"Of the new ones, the one that works best is Pomarina, a second-fermented brut in tank".

In the Varsovia cocktail bar (Gijón) Borja Cortina uses it for some of his cocktails.

Cider is very compatible.



is being a low-alcoholic beverage alternative to beer or wine," explains Ricardo Cabeza.

Despite the difficult moment in the hospitality industry, where the pouring bar is paralyzed, he is confident that it will be consolidated in Spain as well as in Europe, where in some country its consumption is above that of beer.


those countries there was the aperitif cider


We have the bottle, a highly awarded product that is cider.

It is the equivalent of a high level craft although the Spanish market is not used to 5.5 degrees of alcohol.

For the new generations, in addition to the third and the can, El Gaitero had planned another launch, postponed by the virus, with less graduation taking advantage of the cider pull.

Both Cabeza and Collada see there the margin for generational change.

An alternative profile is that of Edu Vázquez Coto,

cider globalizer

at the head of the importer Cider Guerrilla.

Asturiano also, linked from cradle to homemade cider, discovered that it was a planetary hit when he went to live in Frankfurt in 2007.

"I also realized that there was nothing written, four books with many topics



In a couple of years he was already related to this cider lodge, traveling to Australia or Normandy, and setting up his own distributor.

«It was a coincidence.

In 2012 the boom began in the United States and it happened that I went to give talks and that they invited me to the biggest championship in the world.

A revolution began that spread throughout the Anglo-Saxon world.

A friend of Ryan Burk, who even dedicated a cider to him with his Asturian-style name, which is

the one that accumulates the most Angry Orchard awards

, Edu knows what it means to add value.

Hence I speak of epic fermented.

«The terrible thing is that I make it with the ciders that I import.

I remember a discussion with chef José Andrés who said that no one sells Spanish cider more expensively.

But I sell ciders from other countries at seven euros a bottle and they reach the diner at twenty ».

Cider was never on restaurant menus.

But César Martín, from


, has already asked him for his new project, Fokacha.

«The difference is that in my case clients have the initiative to offer them.

It is proven that if it is offered, people want to taste cider.

That is why I call myself a cider globalizer.

You have to create a minimum of knowledge to create a minimum of interest.

It is a drink that nobody dislikes.

For the millennial it is round ».

As with Luxembourg or New Zealand, a story is missing for Spanish cider to be sexy.

Cocktails with cider from the Warsaw bar



  • 1/8 of Asturian apple

  • 6 cl of Tanqueray Ten

  • 4 cl of lemon juice

  • 2 cl of sugar syrup

  • 2 cl of egg white

  • Brut Pomarina cider top


Apple fan


Serve the gin and apple in the shaker, mash and then serve the rest of the ingredients in a bell glass with plenty of ice and shake vigorously.



  • 5cl of Johnnie Walker Gold

  • 1 cl of sherry and lime cordial

  • 1 cl of Panizales ice cider


Apple fan


Serve with a logo-etched iceball on an Old Fashioned glass

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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