Perry Quite Contrary
Given that there hasn’t been international agreement on such terminology, we’ll take “pear cider” to mean both pear-flavoured cider and perry proper; and “perry” shall mean the product of pear (not just perry pears as is traditional in England) fermented like apples for cider.
Haven’t been able to find out how the sampled drinks were conceived and made – French or English style fermentation? did the brewer mean it to be dry or sweet? etc.
It was difficult to detect any distinctive pear taste in the Showering Brothers‘ The Original Pear Cider (S$7.50 at East of Avalon Wines, S$10 at Colbar, Portsdown Road). Low carbonation. The brothers, being progeny of Babycham makers, were allegedly the first to call perry “pear cider” when no one at Glastonbury could comprehend what they were selling.
Having been given to understand that The Original Pear Cider was really fermented pear but watered down with pear juice, had a go at the Showering Brothers‘ Festival Pear Cider (S$7.50 at East of Avalon Wines) instead. No pear joy there either.
Magners Pear Cider (S$7.21 (festive special) at 6 Drunk Men, S$8.60 at Paragon Market Place) had a longer-lasting head and carbonation. I guess one could describe it as having a “delicately refreshing taste”, though it was a bit of a squint to taste anything resembling pear or fermented fruit.
The nose on Kopparberg Pear Cider from Sweden (S$5.60 at IKEA, S$6.50 at TSA Wines) was quite reminiscent of the pear-flavoured Jelly Belly. On the palate though, the pear taste barely held its own against the sugar water. At an IKEA dinner, it got lost amongst the Swedish meatballs and contributed little even to the Swedish apple pie. Not surprising since the ingredients list suggests that it’s more of a pear wine spritzer than true perry. Categorised as such, it’s refreshing when drunk very cold or over ice and is, in any case, the object of many a girl’s affection.
Sweet Revenge in New York suggests pairing Kopparberg Pear Cider with their Pumpkin Spice (Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting), Dirty (Dirty – Valrhona Cake with Dark Chocolate Truffle), and Mayan Chocolate (Cinnamon Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Buttercream) cupcakes. And someone else advises that “runny camembert with crispbread takes this cider to another level”. For future reference.
The Showering Brothers‘ range of flavoured pear ciders (Tutti Frutti, Strawberry with Pear Cider) (S$7.50 at East of Avalon Wines) might be worth considering if ever stuck with a bunch of lasses who will shriek and run away at the sight of a properly good whisky.