Not sure which cider to choose at the supermarket? We asked consumers to blind-taste vintage ciders from big brands and supermarket own labels to help you find the best.
Our consumer panel tasted and rated 11 sparkling apple ciders from well-known brands and supermarkets including Asda, Aldi, M&S and Sainsbury's to find the tastiest of the crop.
The results showed that there are plenty of 'all right' ciders, but a few standout options - plus a great value Aldi cider for those looking for great taste for less.
Read on to find out which ciders impressed the most and where's worth stocking up.
Aspall and Waitrose share the top spot in our taste test, thanks to their good balance of fizziness, sharpness and flavour.
36p per 100ml (£1.80 per 500ml bottle)
This cider has a slightly lighter apple flavour, but overall our tasters were impressed; it smells nice and the flavour is great. It hits the right note when it comes to sharpness and 72% of people said the level of fizz was just about right.
Price-wise it's a tad cheaper than average and it's available in a range of supermarkets, so this Best Buy should be easy to get your hands on.
47p per 100ml (£2.35 per 500ml bottle)
Topping the list alongside Aspall, Waitrose's cider achieves the same high standard when it comes to flavour and overall enjoyment.
It's a sweeter cider, which some may prefer, but its not overly sweet. In terms of the strength of apple flavour, Waitrose has balanced it beautifully, and like Aspall it has just the right amount of fizz.
It's the second most expensive cider on test at 47p per 100ml, but we've previously seen it on a three for £5 deal which would make it better value at 33p per 100ml. Watch out for alcohol content, as it's relatively high at 7.3% ABV.
A notch below the winners, these ciders also rated well for flavour, but didn't quite strike the level of fizziness that our tasters expected.
25p per 100ml (£1.89 per 750ml bottle)
Aldi's cheap cider is on par for flavour with top scorers and not too far behind overall.
However, it's slightly less apple-y, and three in ten people said it wasn't sweet enough - the highest proportion of the top four ciders.
It's the cheapest of the top four ciders by more than 10p per 100ml, and the cheapest on test. The bottle size is slightly larger at 750ml (versus 500ml for others) so it's not the cheapest per bottle, but handy if you've got plenty of glasses to fill.
40p per 100ml (£2.00 per 500ml bottle)
Another less sweet cider. It's deeper in colour and tastes as good as the other three top scorers, but the balance is different. The flavours seem to be less intense, with four in ten people saying the apple flavour was too weak, and three in ten saying it wasn't sharp enough.
If you like a lighter touch to your cider, this is a good choice.
There are plenty of decent ciders around if you don't want to go too far out of your way. Sainsbury's, Henry Westons and Lidl cider all got similar scores and weren't too far behind the top picks.
Here's how the rest of the ciders rated:
Cider can be notably potent in terms of alcohol content, and quite variable too, so it's worth checking the bottle before you buy.
Alcohol by volume (ABV) for the cider in our test ranges from 4.5% for Orchard Pig to 8.2% for Henry Westons. For a 500ml bottle (generally considered to hold two servings) this equates to 2.3 to 4.1 units.
|Cider||Alcohol by volume (ABV)|
With cider, vintage refers to vintage quality, which basically means the best stuff. There's no agreed measure that defines what 'vintage' actually is though.
The ciders in our test come from Herefordshire, Somerset and Suffolk. It's no coincidence that a number of the ciders on test come from Herefordshire. H. Weston & Sons, the producer of the Henry Westons brand in Herefordshire, is also named on the supermarket ciders from Aldi, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.
The products were assessed in June 2022 by a large panel of consumers who regularly buy and consume cider. The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK.
Each apple cider was served chilled and assessed by 64 people. The panellists rated the taste, aroma, mouthfeel and appearance of each product and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.
The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying. The order they sampled the apple ciders was fully rotated to avoid any bias. Each panellist had a private booth so they couldn’t discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others.
The overall score is based on:
These weightings are based on consumer rankings of the importance of different apple cider attributes.
All of the ciders we tested come in glass bottles, so they're easily recyclable with kerbside glass collections or at bottle banks.
Prices correct as of 21 July 2022