From the makers of Mercury, Australia’s oldest cider, comes Mercury Artisan, a new premium cider handcrafted from 100% Tasmanian apples. The introduction of Mercury Artisan comes at a time when cider drinking in Australia is on the rise. In fact cider is currently the fastest-growing alcohol category in Australia and the fifth largest growth category in food and beverages globally.
In a June survey conducted on behalf of Mercury Artisan by Pure Profile, a resounding majority of participants said they found cider to be a nice change from beer or wine. The findings prove what leading drinks figure Alexx Swainston predicted — Australians are broadening their tastes past simply beer and wine, and relishing the refreshment offered by cider.
“Cider is an age old tradition around the world, and Australians have recently caught on in a major way,” Swainston said. She predicts that Mercury Artisan will have appeal to current craft beer and wine drinkers, along with the growing group of cider enthusiasts.
“We’re starting to see cider pop up on drinks list in high-end bars and restaurants, even being used in cocktails, and this signals the start of a wide trend.
“Mercury Artisan shows impressive rich fruit character, with a fabulous, creamy mouth feel,” Swainston said. “It presents a fresh, crunchy, sweet-apple nose with delicate gamey undertones and these heady aromas certainly continue on the palate with a crisp finish.
“In most European countries, cider is more common than it is here. As tourists spend time in Australia and as we welcome back our expatriates, we pick up trends they’ve discovered overseas — cider is one of them,” she said.
Made at the foothills of Mt Wellington, Mercury enjoys a history spanning nearly a century. The cider was first made in Tasmania in 1911 by Frenchman Auguste Bonamy. Bonamy was an experienced wine and cider maker, receiving acclaim throughout Australia for the Tasmanian cider he made from the late 1800s onwards. In honour of his memory and skill as a cider maker, Bonamy’s signature appears on the Mercury Artisan label.
Did Auguste Bonamy have any inkling back in 1911, that less than 100 years later cider would be the fastest growing alcohol category in Australia? Most likely not, but it’s something that might have made the Frenchman quite proud.
The making of Mercury Artisan shares many similarities to winemaking: fruit is crushed and pressed, fermented with selected yeasts, then filtered and bottled. The cider makers at Mercury work with experienced pomologists (apple graders), who categorise fruit into four types: sweets, sharps, bittersweets and bittersharps. The result is a premium cider with balanced apple character and a refreshing finish that lingers on the palate.
Mercury Artisan is 5.5% ABV (1.5 standard drinks per bottle) and available nationally from quality bars and bottle shops such as Vintage Cellars. RRP is AUS$13.99 per four pack and $64.99 per case.
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