My neighbours downstairs have warned me that they’re hosting a birthday party, which means a floors and walls vibrating with deep bass until 4 in the morning. I thank them for the advance warning, and plan a night of getting lashed, to block out the oppressive thumping.
Last weekend, I spent an afternoon on a wet bench, in a park, drinking cider, with children running around. This would normally be inadvisable and borderline illegal, but at this park was a cider stall, selling London Glider Cider. I invested in a few bottles, and tonight, will sample the fruits of the park. London Glider cider is made form unwanted apples, collected from gardens around London. A very noble idea.
I don’t really understand the cider logo of a white glider floating through blue London skies, it looks far too much like a healthy day out, like one of those Red Letter Days adverts. I think I will offer them a re-brand. Still, unpeturbed by the business-like label, I decant the apple cider. It’s a very light, almost green colour, pear drop colour, flat and hazy. This 7% cider from Woodford Green has a light, sweet smell. It admits it uses sweeteners and sulphites, so it’s not so the pure thing, but with all the noxious heavy metals flotaing round London gardens, that’s probaby the least of my worries.
The Glider apple has a sharp, sweet taste, with a whiff of festering apple. I can almost taste the maggots wriggling through the unwanted apples at the bottom of the garden, and the dog weeing on them.
When you put these thoughts out of your mind, it’s a very easy-drinking cider, with a lot of apple in it. Perhaps a bit sharp for a novice, but I love the way it’s upcycling London waste. Now I feel like a proper Cockney, but instead, I’ll have the crab apple…
The neighbours pump up the jam, and the party is getting going. I’m watching Poltergeist, and it’s much less scary than the first time I watched it. I suppose real life puts horror films in persepective, but at least I’ve learned a new word; psychtronic. Don’t know what it means, but I’ll try to use it.
I open up the crab. On the label, it has a quaint picture of a little crab in an apple. Quaint, but not that appetising – also due for a re-brand. This one says it’s a limited edition. Again, at 7%, the crab apple cider has a sharper smell, tinged with a bit of the ripeness of apples or Barbie’s heads as one of my cider-kicks might say.
A steak is sliding across a breakfast bar of it’s own volition, on telly, as I try anothher sip. The taste is crisp, but fruity, quite tangy. I’ve never tried a crab apple before, I imagine they don’t taste very nice. However, as cider apples are generally not that great to eat, the crabs might be an overlooked resource around Britain. Instead of hoying them at neighbours windows and running away, how about squashing them, leaving the juice to ferment and then getting lashed on it?
The crab is a fruity one with a bit of a pinch.
At 1.20am, downstairs turn up the bass up to 11. It’s now vibrating my whole flat and penetrating my body. I neck the crab, and go for the final bottle in the series, to numb the pain. Dead bodies are jumping out of the ground all over the place on telly and the constant thumping makes me want to gouge out eyes with my teeth. The only way out is the perry. I crack open this 8% beauty, and pour. It has the same pale green/yellow colour.
It smells a bit chemical, but there’s something familar about this smell, like a herb, slightly burned. Something like coriander, or something I was supposed to like as a kid, that was suposed to put hairs on my chest. Anyway, this one’s fairly sweet, but a bit herby for me and not pear-tasty. Slightly bitter. I often find the sweeter the fruit, the more bitter the drink, and as pears are very sweet, a real perry can be a challenge.
All of the Glider cider get reasonable marks, due to the fact that they are made wth my neighbour’s unwanted fruit, and I don’t mean their miscreant kids who roam the streets. I recommend more people make cider from their garden fruit. A DJ has started downstairs now, as I try to take in a prig-rock programme and mercifully drift off into a psychotronic stupor.