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Savouring Every Drop: How to store your cider properly

Apple cider holds a cherished place in many cultures, especially when it's been allowed to ferment into its spirited counterpart. Whether you've brewed your own or purchased a special bottle, proper storage is essential to maintain its flavour, aroma, and quality. In this guide, we'll explore the best practices for storing alcoholic apple cider to ensure it stays at its best for as long as possible.

photo of a glass of apple cider, surrounded by fresh apples
Top tips for keeping your cider fresh

  1. Keep it Cool: One of the cardinal rules of storing any alcoholic beverage is to keep it cool. This is equally true for apple cider. Exposing cider to high temperatures can accelerate the aging process, potentially leading to off-flavours and spoilage. Ideally, store your bottles in a cool, dark place such as a cellar, basement, or refrigerator. Aim for a consistent temperature between 7°C to 15°C to maintain its freshness.

  2. Avoid Light Exposure: Light, especially sunlight and UV rays, can have a detrimental effect on alcoholic beverages, causing them to develop a funky aroma and taste. To prevent this, store your cider in opaque containers or in a location where it won't be exposed to direct sunlight. Amber or dark-coloured bottles are particularly effective at blocking out harmful light.

  3. Seal it Tight: Proper sealing is crucial for preserving the integrity of your cider. Make sure that the bottle caps or corks are securely fastened to prevent oxygen from entering. Oxygen exposure can lead to oxidation, which can negatively impact the flavor and aroma of the cider over time. If you've opened a bottle and have leftovers, reseal it tightly or transfer it to a smaller container to minimise air contact.

  4. Store Upright: Unlike wine, which is typically stored on its side to keep the cork moist, cider should be stored upright. This helps prevent any potential leakage and helps in maintaining its seal. Additionally, storing cider upright reduces the surface area exposed to oxygen, further prolonging its shelf life.

  5. Monitor Temperature Fluctuations: Temperature fluctuations can also affect the quality of your cider. Avoid storing your bottles in areas prone to rapid temperature changes, such as near heaters, vents, or windows. Fluctuations in temperature can cause the liquid to expand and contract, potentially leading to leaks or even breakage. Aim for a stable, moderate temperature environment to keep your cider in optimal condition.

  6. Consider Aging: While some ciders are best enjoyed fresh, others can benefit from aging. If you have a bottle of cider that's suitable for aging, such as a vintage or specialty brew, store it in a cool, dark place and monitor its progress over time. Keep in mind that not all ciders are meant for aging, so it's essential to research the specific variety you have to determine the ideal aging conditions.

Proper storage is key to preserving the flavour, aroma, and quality of your alcoholic apple cider. By following these best practices—keeping it cool, avoiding light exposure, sealing it tight, storing it upright, monitoring temperature fluctuations, and considering aging—you can ensure that your cider remains at its best for as long as possible. So go ahead, stock up on your favorite bottles, and savour the crisp, refreshing taste of apple cider year-round. Cheers!

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