Autumn BBQ recipes with the best Craft ciders

Autumn BBQ with cider

We’ve been blessed with beautiful weather these past few months, and whilst summer may be coming to a close, hopefully the sunshine will stick around for a while longer. Even if it doesn’t though, we’re not ready to say goodbye to BBQ season quite yet, so pull on an extra layer and continue to enjoy the alfresco dining experience, accompanied, of course, by some delicious Sandford Orchard’s cider.

Autumn BBQ recipes

Cider is often synonymous with the heat of the summer months due to its refreshing and fruity qualities; however it is just as good a drink for the cooler months of the year too. Barny Butterfield, founder of Sandford Orchards says so himself, noting, “Typically in the autumn people switch up to higher alcohol ciders to enjoy the richness and depth of flavour”. Cider pairs perfectly with heartier, warmer foods such as barbequed meats. Barny advises drinking a still cider if you are looking for the perfect autumn paring. He says that “Cider is such a broad drink, you can have a cold and refreshing cider like Devon Red, but equally you can drink your cider warm, much like a rioja wine for example.

For autumn BBQs we would tend to champion seasonal and local produce. For example, we’d dish up hearty steaks for our guests from local grass-fed cows, which are always a crowd pleaser, washed down with a cider from our Vintage range such as our vat-aged cider, The General, which complements meaty barbequed flavours with its plum and baked apple notes and warming finish. Another autumn barbeque favourite in our opinion are chicken skewers, which we’d make more autumnal with warm curried flavours, such as a masala marinade. To accompany this, we’d recommend our cask-aged Sandford Reserve cider with its intricate flavours of peach, vintage oak and sherry wine.

For the vegetarians amongst us, you can’t beat grilled halloumi on the barbeque, and to make the most of the seasonal produce, we would grill the halloumi with autumn root vegetables such as parsnips, beets, carrots and butternut squash to make a delicious and hearty root vegetable salad. To go with this, we’d suggest pairing this with our Apple and Oak cider, which goes nicely with halloumi and other cheeses too.

Hearty steak

Enjoy Mulled cider with an Autumn BBQ

If the autumn weather is leaving your guests a bit chilly at your BBQ however, we would suggest giving mulled cider a try. Mulled cider is an autumn and winter winner, to which you can add spices and aromatic flavours such as cloves, orange zest and cinnamon, or simply mull it as it is. The beauty of mulled cider, according to Barny, is that it’s much lighter in flavour compared to other mulled beverages such as mulled wine, meaning you can keep coming back for more – perfect for keeping warm on those cooler autumnal evenings. Our mulled cider goes down particularly well at the Exeter Christmas market, where we often have a stand to provide refreshment for thousands of thirsty market-goers, so if you’re unsure about trying to make it yourself for your next autumn BBQ, we would recommend coming along if you’re in the local area in December and trying our mulled cider for yourself.

Just as barbeques can be a year-round event (in our opinion), we also firmly hold the view that cider, too, is an all-season drink. So, although summer may be drawing to a close, don’t hesitate when thinking about throwing an autumnal barbeque. Invite your friends, buy some local seasonal produce and savour some delicious, barbequed food all washed down with a cider of your choosing, as we move into September and October – enjoy!

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