FOR some reason, I’m unusually susceptible to cider advertising. Which is why I’ve ended up with a bottle of Savanna Dry Premium Cider, even though I don’t like dry cider.
This one came from Tesco, where they’ve been heavily promoting it for some time. Its long has premium shelf space, and, last week, a little tag hooked onto the place where they put the prices for each product. The tag suggested drinking it from the bottle with some lemon. As I don’t have any sour citrus fruit handy, and too much class to drink from the bottle, this is going straight into the glass. Let me know in the comments what you think of it with lemon. Is it better or worse for it?
At just over £1.50 pence, this little bottle is at the premium end. It does have the advantage of having a name that matches its character. Wouldn’t it be great it a Brazilian firm started producing Rainforest sweet cider?
[EDIT: I’ve just checked the receipt, and the actual price was £1.31. Cheaper, but still at a premium.]
What can I say about the bottle? Well, it’s small and dumpy looking. And it’s transparent. So you can see the pale yellow cider held within.
The front label sums up what you need to know with excellent imagery.
The crayon effect gives it an unusual look. The pictures of savannah landscape and the prominent word “Dry” all add to the image of a drink that will make you thirsty.
The back label doesn’t add much in the way of a description. But it does answer some questions about its origin.
First up, we learn this drink’s vital statistics. This little bottle holds the typical 330 millilitres of liquid. But it has an above average 5.5% alcoholic volume.
You won’t be surprised to learn that is contains sulphites. But what will surprise you is that we get a full list of the ingredients. For the first time, pretty much ever, we can see what goes into a cider. This one is made with “apple cider, glucose syrup, apple juice concentrate, flavourings, carbon dioxide, colour (E150c), antioxidant (sulphur dioxide)”. That was interesting to learn. Sort of.
There’s a web address. Which is www.savanna.co.za. The observant among you will notice the unusual “ZA” country code on that address. And, sure enough, it’s confirmed by the back label. Perhaps the most prominent part of it is the line “Product of South Africa”. Suddenly, you realise that the “Savanna” name and graphics aren’t just marketing.
This is the first African cider I’ll have tried. And I’m looking forward to it. The African lager I tried, Castle Lager wasn’t bad. This might even change my mind on dry cider. Either way, it’s time to open this expensive and well travelled bottle and see if it’s any good.
First impressions are, it’s very fizzy. No head though. Possibly because of its dry character, it reminds my of some Strongbows. The colour is a darker shade of yellow. Apple juice colour. It has a similarly rich apple-y smell too. Appetising, if like me, you like apples.
The character is exactly as it says on the bottle; dry. No surprise there. But it is very effective. Just a couple of gulps, and you get that dry sour taste at the back of your tongue. The taste is, no surprise either, as it tastes of apples. Not strongly so. Nor with the barely noticeable weakness of some ciders. Savanna Dry is somewhere in-between. But you’ll hardly notice. And that’s because your mouth will be feeling as dry as the savannah of this cider’s name.
It is however, not as dry as I feared. I was half expecting Sahara levels of dryness and unpleasantness. But it never seems too dry. The high-quality is very much in evidence. And that makes it drinkable. Which, I never expected to say about Savanna Dry.
To sum up, Savanna Dry is an expensive, but quality dry cider. If you like cider. And you like it dry, this is a must. If you like cider, but don’t normally touch anything “dry”, it’s still worth giving this one a go.
Have you tried Savanna Dry Premium Cider? Have you tried it with lemon stuffed into the neck of the bottle?
Then share your opinions, thoughts, ideas, suggestions and recommendations with the world here please.