Czider Száraz

I’m pretty sure you haven’t heard about any Hungarian cider brand before as Hungary is one of these countries with no cider culture or even a Hungarian name for cider. So today I wish to briefly introduce you Czider (‘cz’ is pronounced as ‘c’ in old Hungarian), established in 2013 by two Hungarian girls, Orsi and Kata. Czider is a relatively small craft cider venture producing roughly 10.000 l cider annually from Hungarian eating apples. Currently, Orsi and Kata supply around 50-60 bars and restaurants in Budapest (incl. Jamie’s Italian Buda Castle) and across Hungary with their cider. So it looks that the cider wave hit this part of Europe as well.
Czider has two types of cider in their line-up, Száraz (dry) and Félédes (semi-sweet). Both ciders are neither filtered nor pasteurised, with a secondary in-bottle fermentation and added xylitol, a birch bark sugar for some sweetness. I’ll give the Száraz a try.

Company: Magyar Czider Kft.
Place of Origin: Vértesboglár, Fejér county, Hungary
Ingredients: a blend of 3 Hungarian dessert apple varieties with xylitol
ABV: 7%
Package type: 330ml brown glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass or wine glass

Appearance: pours a cloudy pale golden with a huge white foam that very slowly dissipates. Medium and natural carbonation. Body is medium and has a quite creamy texture.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong and smells fruity and aromatic of pear, apple stems, green apples and distant vinegar.

Taste: my first taste is lightly sweet, with a very low acidity of lemon. Notes of ripe pear and pear, green apples and a light bitterness. The finish is dry and slightly acidic of lemon with pears and a hint of cloves, leaving a distant and a bit harsh note.

Overall: Száraz is claimed to be made from apples but I could swear I’m drinking a perry. Also, it’s quite sweet for a dry cider with low acidity so I would classify it as medium dry to medium. Száraz has a beautiful, intense and fruity nose but taste-wise there is some need for improvement. Száraz is complex and quite rich with a lovely creamy texture but it still tastes quite average leaving on top of that a distant slightly harsh note. I think it’s quite a challenge to produce a cider from dessert apples but I also know the girls from Czider have the right skills and knowledge to make a really good cider. So I think it’s a matter of the right raw material. Worth trying. 3.5/6

Availability: directly from Czider, at various festivals, in many restaurants and bars especially in Budapest’s party district Gozsdu udvar and in Jamie’s Italian Castle Buda.

Price: Czider Száraz was a sample provided by Orsi from Czider.