GT tableware

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before July 21st and you’ll receive a FREE Laguiole cheese knife set, valued at over $64.

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Recipes using turmeric

An old Indian spice lauded for its health benefits, turmeric adds both colour and a peppery, warm, sometimes slightly bitter flavour to food. Use it in curries, with rice, as a paste for grilled meats and in warm winter soups.

Best winter breakfast recipes

If you need a little more convincing than usual to get out of bed when it's cold outside, try these warm, hearty breakfast ideas to get you going, from waffles to warm polenta and smoky beans with bacon.

What to cook this winter

From rib-sticking beef rendang to the perfect goat's cheese quiche, these are the recipes to tick off for winter (so far).

Six sweet biscuit recipes

From soft meringue alfajores to chocolate hob nobs and Swedish spiced ginger cookies, these treats will be swept up in a snap.

Chocolate hob-nobs

These extra-large oat biscuits are exactly what you need to get through the afternoon slump. Have one with a strong cup of tea and you'll be firing.

Roti canai

Here, we've made the dough in a food processor, but it's really quick and simple to do by hand as well. If the dough seems a little too wet just add a little more flour.

Winter tart recipes

Tarts are as versatile as they are delicious, and are perfect for baking on a cool winter's day.

Citrus recipes

From tarte au citron to canard a l’orange, citrus flavours have long been friends of French cuisine. Pucker up for a taste of the sun-kissed Mediterranean and further afield with these recipes featuring oranges, lemons, grapefruit and mandarins.

Cider insider

The great Australian cider bubble keeps expanding, writes Max Allen, but when it bursts, who will be left standing?

When I first wrote a feature about the cider boom in these pages three years ago, I was amazed to find about 40 Australian cider producers out there. Now I know of at least 120 Australian-made cider brands - and I'm coming across a new one almost every week. The market for international ciders has grown, too: a good range of scrumpy, cidre and apfelwein from the UK, France and Germany is now available here.

The big multinational booze companies have also been very active on the local cider scene this summer: just before Christmas Foster's (now owned by SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer) spent more than $5 million relaunching the Strongbow brand; Coca-Cola Amatil took over distribution of the Swedish Rekorderlig brand and launched its own cider, Pressman's, produced in conjunction with the huge Riverina-based wine company, Casella; and Japanese-owned brewer Lion launched the Kirin range of Fuji Apple ciders exclusively in Australia.

Not that any of these big brand products should be called real cider, mind you. Not to this purist, anyway. They're all concocted with water and apple juice concentrate: I think of them as "facsimile ciders". I can see why they're popular: their sweet, juicy appeal (often derived from added flavouring) hides the taste of alcohol, making them easy to drink.

Real cider should be made solely from the juice of freshly crushed whole apples (or pears) - certainly no concentrate, flavouring nor water added. This is how Co-op Pear Cider, one of the most inspiring local brands to emerge in 2013, is made: Packham pears grown in Victoria's Goulburn Valley are crushed and pressed, yeast is added to convert the rich pear sugars into alcohol, and the resulting pink-tinged cider is bottled with carbon dioxide to make it fizzy. Simple. Real.

The cider is made by a new small artisan company called Faire Ferments, in conjunction with the GV Food Co-Operative, a group of Goulburn Valley farmers trying to keep agriculture viable by processing and marketing their own produce after the withdrawal of multinational food companies from the region.

You're most likely to come across some of Australia's best new ciders close to the orchards and cideries where they're made. Red Sails ciders, made at a heritage orchard in the channel country south of Hobart, are a big hit at the city's biennial Australian Wooden Boat Festival; the funky farmhouse ciders of Lobo are barely known outside South Australia, where they sell through pubs and farmers' markets; and Mornington Peninsula's Seven Oaks Farmhouse Cidery has a loyal following at the region's monthly Red Hill Community Market.

When the current cider bubble has burst (and it will) and all the facsimile cider brands have become a distant corporate memory, it's these real ciders, made from real apples and pears, by real people that will endure.

TASTE THIS - SIX OF THE BEST
Top-scorers from the 2013 Australian Cider Awards, open to locally produced and imported ciders - all made from real, whole apples and pears.

1. The Hills Cider Company Pear Cider, Adelaide Hills, SA, $5 (330ml)
Heaps of peary aroma, balanced sweetness and a touch of ginger spice. Drink from a schooner with ice.

2. Small Acres Cyder "The Cat's Pyjamas", Orange, NSW, $32
Excellent, full-flavoured but refined apple cider. It's like biting into a Granny Smith. Try it in a Champagne flute. 

3. St Ronan's Pear Cider, Yarra Valley, Vic, $25
With gorgeous rich, complex pear aromas and a lovely soft, creamy texture, this is best paired with an oozing washed-rind cheese. 

4. Red Sails Dry Cider, d'Entrecasteaux, Tas, $18
Made from traditional English cider apple varieties, this is funky, grippy, satisfying and cheddar-friendly. Drink from a classic English half-pint glass. 

5. Cornouaille "Manoir du Kinkiz", France, $20
Brilliantly spicy and complex farmhouse cider that's great with stinky camembert and best drunk from a squat, wide tumbler. 

6. Weidmann & Groh Trierer Weinapfel, Germany, $22
Rich, golden and chewy, ideally drunk from a German apfelwein glass, a straight-sided, diamond-patterned tumbler. Bring on the knackwurst and sauerkraut.

Related link: cocktail recipes.

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Smalls’ East India
17.06.2016
Late Night Valentine’s Late Night Crusta
13.05.2016
On the house: Bar Brose in four drinks
06.05.2016
Bar Rochford opens in Canberra
27.04.2016
Craft beer bouquets
08.04.2016
New cocktail bar and soda factory to open in Sydney's CBD
04.04.2016
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Twenty
things to do this autumn

Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Jennifer Hawkins Sesion tequila

Tequila is the new black. At least it is for Jennifer Hawkin...

Australian sour beers

Craft brewing in Australia is hitting a sour note, and that’...

Original Sin's Grande Bellezza

A fresh, bright Italian-accented sundowner.

Short restaurant wine lists

Small is the order of the day in restaurants, with tight win...

Mitch Monaghan, Nespresso

We caught up with Nespresso Australia and New Zealand coffee...

Signature drinks

Thirty of our favourite drinks from Australia's best bars an...

Hot 100 2015 - Drinks

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

Mover, shaker

The best thing you can take to a party, according to cocktai...

How to improve your wine-tasting ability

Drinking wine is more than a matter of taste, writes Max All...

Best Australian red wines for drinking now

Australians are getting a taste for thirst-quenching reds ma...

Best Australian gins

The local gin craze is in full swing. Max Allen taste-tests ...

The art of the cocktail list

In our inaugural Cocktail List of the Year awards, GT cockta...

The Gin Garden's Southside

Looking for a new summer drink? The search is over.

Doctor cocktail

From the fringes of Melbourne’s mixology scene, Sam Ross has...

Master mixologist

Tony Conigliaro pours a mean cocktail. Not only is his Londo...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×