For a country that makes so much good cider we're incredibly reliant on those alco-pops pretending to be the real thing. We can never understand why the majority of Dublin pubs have no proper Irish cider on the menu (maybe we'll write a piece about the ones that do so if you know any email us), and instead rely on brightly coloured, sickly sweet imports. They claim it doesn't sell, but is there really no appetite here for real Irish cider? We're not convinced.
One man who might convince you (and the pubs) to explore Irish cider a bit more is Mark Jenkinson of The Cider Mill Slane, who makes Cockagee Cider using the ancient technique of keeving. You can read more about it on the website, but it's a pretty complicated process involving a lot of TLC and resulting in a cider that's unfiltered, unpasteurised, unsweetened and naturally sparkling.
If we've managed to get you interested, there's a cider tasting and dinner on March 28th at The Riddler, opposite Christchurch Cathedral, where Mark will be pairing three of his ciders with food cooked by head chef Artur Garwin. It's also a complete bargain at €20 a head for three courses, drinks, and a cider tasting with Mark afterwards.
The Riddler is a modern Irish restaurant focusing on local food and keeping traditional Irish dishes alive. The walls are also filled with riddles, hence the name. The menu for the cider tasting night consists of Fivemiletown goat's cheese and roast beetroot to start, paired with ''Ciderkin', a refreshing, crisp cider. Then, slow-roasted pork belly with Clonakilty black pudding and potato croquettes, paired with 'Windvane', a juicy, rich cider with a slight sparkle. To finish, a selection of Irish cheeses paired with 'Lamhog', a big, bold cider made from a blend of the vintage keeved ciders.
Dinner will take place at 7pm, with the cider tasting at 8:30pm, and we think this has to be one of the best value nights you could have out in March. Plus Irish cider is brilliant, and we should be drinking more of it or it will just leave the country. To book contact the guys at The Riddler.
La Rochelle Building, High Street, Christchurch, Dublin 8
Ph: 01 9073266