There are many variations of cider that are made all over the world, most of these are specialties of a local area such as apfelwein in Frankfurt, Germany. And one highly popular cider beverage made in the home of cider making which is Somerset, is scrumpy.
But what is the difference between cider and scrumpy? Is it how they are made? Or is it more complicated than this? Basically they are the same thing, but scrumpy is usually made in small batches by local farmers.
Many people view scrumpy almost as home-brew, and feel that it is a rough and unsophisticated drink. This has come about because often scrumpy is cloudy and has bits floating around in it. Another reason for its dubious reputation is that it is often made from apples that are either windfall or have been rejected for cider making.
Because scrumpy is made in small farms and rural areas the places where it is made are often agricultural buildings that may not look as clean as sparkling breweries. This leads to myths like mice and rats climbing into the barrels and their rotting flesh constitutes the bits floating about in the drink!
The Difference Between Scrumpy and Cider
Because the term scrumpy means something different depending on where you happen to be, there are also several different ways to produce it. So some scrumpies are almost exactly the same as some ciders, and others are very different indeed. The point in debate here is that scrumpy is a type of cider.
The texture, color, strength, sweetness, dryness of scrumpy can depend on a multitude of factors and the types of apples used in its production. The natural alcohol is generally increased by the addition of sugar and strong scrumpies are left to ferment longer.
It is even possible to make scrumpy at home, and the average farmhouse kitchen will have most of the utensils that you will need.
The Benefits and Flaws of Scrumpy
As scrumpy is quite often home-brewed then there are no quality assurances that come with it. So it is rather hit and miss if you are consuming something that is good or bad for you.
On the plus side, scrumpy is made from apples that are full of antioxidants which of course are good for the body. On the negative side each producer can basically add whatever they like to their brew so you never quite know what is in it.
Good scrumpy is delicious, it is packed with fruit flavors and is the perfect drink to quench a thirst on a hot summers day. It can also help you to become more active as the antioxidants promote better blood circulation so your body receives better oxygen delivery.
But beware, generally scrumpy is stronger that cider and that is because it is rarely regulated. But if you drink sensibly there is no reason whatsoever that you cannot enjoy this delicious beverage. Try sampling as many varieties as you can and take notes for future reference.