Those who know me well know that a kir of any kind is one of my favourite drinks. When I, occasionally, run out of cassis I am at rather a loss. I’ve made it with the classic white burgundy, with any dry white wine I can get my hands on, with red wine (first tasted in Paris and known as kir communard, its good in the winter) and of course with champagne (or other dry sparkling wine) as a kir royale. It’s probably my first choice of cocktail. I love it.
So what to make of Peronelle’s Blush, made by Aspall’s of Suffolk, a Suffolk cyder with a dash of blackberry liqueur ready mixed? Sounded interesting, and in my quest for eating and drinking locally whilst at the Suffolk coast I thought it deserved a try.
It comes in 500ml bottles and is 5.4% abv – against what I’d guess to be about 14% for a kir/kir royale.
Apples and blackberries are such classic English ingredients (think autumn crumbles after collecting blackberries in the local lanes, of such are childhood memories made), so I’m expecting it to work well. It gives a pleasant hiss of bubbles when I open the bottle and is a delicate pinky/red when poured. The aroma of fresh apples is predominant but with a subtle hint of the blackberry underneath. It’s fizzing nicely but not madly in the glass and its time to take my first sip.
It’s very refreshing, not as strong as I make my own kirs but I suspect I go rather heavy on the cassis compared to the classic mix. The blackberry gives it a subtle sweetness and smooth berry flavour. Its good. I like it. I can see it becoming a good summer alternative to kir.
The story on the bottle (and website) is rather lovely, it’s apparently named Peronelle after the rosy glowing cheeks of the grandmother of the current generation of the Chevalier family (who’ve been making Aspall’s for eight generations since 1728). She sounds pretty amazing lady living to 102, running the business for 30 years and then travelling the world in later life. I’d say that the current Aspall family have created a lovely tribute to her with this drink and an excellent English take on a classic French drink.
There’ll be some supplies in my larder again soon.
I think you can find it across the UK in branches of Waitrose, Sainsburys and Tesco as well as locally across Suffolk.
PS: the bottle of organic cyder in the picture was drunk by my husband, its one of his regular cyder/cider choices. He declined to provide tasting notes – sorry.