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El Bareto: Throwing Cider In Chapel Allerton

September 4, 2012 2 comments

I don’t know an awful lot about cider, but I do know that I like the cloudy, interesting, farmhouse end of cider more than the clean, clear, sweet, macro ciders.  Oh, and that Americans call apple juice “cider” and refer to actual cider as “hard cider”.  By that logic, wine should be “challenging grape juice”.

As for Spanish sidra, my entire experience is limited to a visit to an Asturian-style sidreria on a backstreet in Madrid in 2009.  Kate and I ordered two small sidras, whereupon the barman took out a 70cl bottle, attached it to something that looked like a hatstand, and poured a thin stream of cloudy, tart, still sidra into a small glass in a holder a metre below.  I subsequently realised that this was a method of traditionally aerating the sidra by “throwing” it, and it seemed to add to the taste and liveliness.

When we were in El Bareto, my favourite Leeds tapas bar, I decided to try the new “Spanish cider” mentioned on the board.  The barmaid produced a device that looked like a barrel with a car aerial attached to it, maybe some form of steampunk torture device.

It was actually a plastic, battery-powered cider throwing device, which you inserted into your bottle and, when you pushed your glass against a button, spurted a stream of aerated sidra into your glass.  It seemed to work and the sidra, which I suspect was probably fairly unchallenging as the drink goes, went well with the delicious pimientos de Padrón, croquetas and Chorizo a la sidra.

Although I should say that the buzzing (like a battery-powered fan, an electric toothbrush or, um… similar) when you poured a glass did detract a little bit from the romance.

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