This is it: The grand unveiling of the tomato cider I started fermenting back in October!
I’ve made several batches of cider over the years, and the process has been pretty similar each time:
- Go through the long painstaking process of sterilizing, fermenting, racking, back-sweetening, and bottling.
- Wait, wait, wait, waitwaitwait…
- Proudly bring out the inaugural bottle, pop the top, and pour it out.
- Admire the beautiful clarity of the fizzy contents.
- Eagerly taste it.
- *sound of disappointed crowd booing, accompanied by derisive minor-key music: ‘wah-wah-waaaahhhh’*
Until this year, I’d only made cider out of apples, which is theoretically supposed to give palatable results. Even so, I’ve never managed to produce anything I’d offer to anyone else; except maybe as a practical joke.
Apparently I’m either optimistic or delusional, because I keep trying despite repeated disappointments. (Note: No matter how bad it is, I drink the rotgut myself because I fear the Irish legend of Judgement Day*.)
Since the tomato cider was a crapshoot to start with, my usual optimism was slightly subdued, but there was still some anticipation.
It sounds like champagne!
It fizzes like champagne.
The beautifully clear contents:
And the taste test:
Despite its promising appearance, I was afraid it was going to taste like something that starts with that ‘sh-’ sound. It definitely isn’t champagne, but amazingly, it’s okay! (You can see my surprise.)
It’s a bit weird because it has a faint but distinct tomato flavour. Not as much as tomato juice, though, so you might not be able to identify the taste if you didn’t know what it was. It’s fruity and smooth and pleasantly carbonated. In short, it’s nothing like the godawful rocket fuel I’ve made in previous years!
I hate to admit it, but this is probably the best result I’ve had out of all my cider-making thus far. Maybe I’m getting better at it.
Or maybe it only seems better because I drank the whole pint and it’s almost as alcoholic as champagne…
What’s the oddest flavour of cider you’ve ever tried?
* On Judgement Day, you’ll be suspended head-down in a barrel containing all the booze you’ve ever wasted; and if you drown, to Hell with you.
Book 15 update: The last couple of weeks have been full of research and revisions! Aydan and Arnie’s run-ins with the police will be as accurate as I can make them, thanks to the patience and generosity of the constable from Regina Police Service who answered my MANY questions.