Cider is popular in many countries around the world, but it is often perceived as a farmhouse version of beer. This is quite unreasonable as good quality cider is made from top quality ingredients and little more. What is more natural than producing a drink from ripe fruit, and as apples are full of antioxidants in many cases cider is a healthier option than beers, lagers or ales.

But cider can also be produced almost like champagne and the very best ciders can hold their own against good wines. Here are five of the world’s finest ciders available today.

Cidre Breton Brut Traditionelle

Simply packaged, this French cider is a delight, and very reasonable priced at around $7 a bottle. This cider looks as though it has just been made on the farm, it has a slightly cloudy appearance and a label that could have been made in a kindergarten class.

But it is on the palette that this cider delivers, there is a good blend of acidity and tannin with a sweet aftertaste that lingers. The slightly sparkling quality adds to the overall enjoyment of this great cider.

Leduc Piedimonte Ice Cider

Canada is not especially known as a top cider producer but with Leduc Piedimone Ice Cider they have produced one of the very best ciders in the world. Packaged like a top class wine this cider will cost you about the same, but as it is 13% abv. It should be drunk like a wine and not a normal cider.

The cider takes two years to make and is made only from the finest empire and spartan apples. The juice is slowly collected to produce an exotic and glorious taste.

El Gaitero

No list of the world’s best ciders would be complete without one example of Spanish sidra, and El Gaitero is a fine example of the drink of the Astorias. This has to be among the best value for money ciders in the world at less than $2 a bottle. There is a rich caramel sweetness and a high fizz content to this excellent cider which reminds you of Spain in every sip of its delicious taste.

Angioletti Secco

If you want to impress your dinner companions then try serving a bottle of this top sparkling cider from Italy. The beverage is made in the foothills of the Dolomites to an old family recipe, and packaged like a champagne. This effervescent show stopper of a cider exudes apple blossom on the nose and has a really crisp and clean finish on the palette, a sure fire winner at just $10.

Craigies Dalliance Cider

We travel to Ireland for our final cider and you will not be disappointed. Ireland has a long tradition producing cider and therefore you would expect a decent drink. And Craigies Dalliance does not let you down one iota. Dalliance is a blend of several apple varieties that are left to ferment and mature at their own pace.

The result is a dry, light cider that is perfect for summer picnics, but sip gently as this cider is almost 6% abv.