Drink Warehouse UK Blogs

Published on May 7th, 2024. 

From Orchard to Glass: The Art of a Cider Tasting Flight

Give a round of appleause for Cider and Perry month!

We celebrate the venerable tradition of cider and perry every May and October. But why these specific months, you may wonder? Unlike the production of ale, which knows no seasonal constraint, cider and perry are intrinsically linked to the natural rhythms of orchards, where apple and perry pear trees flourish.


May heralds the awakening of orchards, as delicate blossoms adorn the trees, and the promise of fruit begins to materialize. It’s a time when the cider and perry from the previous year, having undergone meticulous maturation, reaches its zenith of flavour, inviting us to celebrate the craftsmanship of our cider makers.

The Cider Tasting Flight

A highly effective method for showcasing the breadth of your venue’s product selection is through the implementation of a Cider Tasting Flight. A cider flight comprises an assortment of sample-sized glasses of craft ciders, often presented on a custom-made wooden “paddle.”


In addition to broadening your offerings, this initiative offers several advantages, including providing customers with an enriching educational experience, distinguishing your venue with a unique selling proposition, and facilitating opportunities for upselling. Below, we outline the dos and don’ts to execute a tasting flight with professionalism and finesse.



Cider Tasting Flight Tip One: DO consider what ciders you’re presenting

Careful consideration should be given to the selection process for your cider flight. Rather than simply showcasing every cider available at your venue, it’s prudent to deliberate on the composition of the flight. Determine whether you prefer to offer a single flight or divide them into categories such as dry and flavoured options. Additionally, you might opt to spotlight ciders that are locally sourced to enhance the connection with your community. Prioritize thorough research and decision-making before featuring your cider flight on the menu.



Cider Tasting Flight Tip Two: DON’T serve ice cold cider

Extreme cold temperatures can significantly mask the flavours and aromatics of ciders, particularly those fermented from traditional tannic apples. To fully appreciate the nuances of craft cider, it’s advisable to allow them to “open up” much like you would with a fine white wine. Simply removing the cider from the fridge or ice chest and letting it sit at room temperature for approximately 5 minutes can make a substantial difference.


The preparation of cocktails entails a comprehensive process that demands both time and a nuanced understanding of mixology. Ready-to-Drink beverages alleviate these complexities, eliminating concerns associated with the need for meticulous ingredient recall and precise measurements.

With RTDs, there is no reliance on individuals to consistently reproduce the same quality of drinks with each pour. This standardised and simplified approach ensures that anyone can proficiently serve a delectable cocktail swiftly, thereby expediting the service process.

Cider Tasting Flight Tip Three: DO put thought into the order they’re on the board

When presenting ciders as a flight, a helpful guideline is to arrange them in order from dry to sweet. Additionally, it’s crucial to conclude with ciders boasting the highest alcohol content. These selections tend to be more intense and can potentially overshadow the nuances of other ciders if sampled earlier in the flight, thereby optimizing the customer’s tasting experience.



Cider Tasting Flight Tip Four: DON’T provide spit buckets

Distinguishing between a cider flight and a wine flight is crucial. Unlike wine, spitting out cider during tasting can result in missing the nuanced finish and lasting mouthfeel, which are essential components of the cider-tasting experience. Unlike wine, where dumping is common due to its higher alcohol content by volume, the complexities of cider tasting warrant a different approach.



Cider Tasting Flight Tip Five: DO provide water and bread as a palate cleanser

Water and bread serve as effective palate cleansers during a cider flight by removing residual flavours, keeping tasters hydrated, neutralizing tastes, and enhancing their ability to discern the unique characteristics of each cider.

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