Celebrating Aspall with Cyder in Every #FBC14 Goodie Bag!

Join us in celebrating Aspall at FBC14! We caught up with Henry Chevallier Guild himself from Aspall(@Aspall) to find out a bit more about the companies routes and what makes Aspall Cyder so special!

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Our family began crafting cyders at Aspall Hall in 1728. Eight generations on, and we are still obsessed with making the highest quality products from the very best fruit. Our family cyder-making business was established nearly 300 years ago by Clement Chevallier from Jersey. He planted the orchards at Aspall Hall in Suffolk and imported the granite wheel from the Ilses de Chaussee off the Normandy coast to crush the apples. The Chevallier family still live and work among Clement’s orchards and today Aspall is run by the eighth generation of the family, Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild. Aspall is the tenth oldest family businesses in the UK. Generations of Chevalliers used Clement’s method of pressing until 1947 when the last horse pulling the wheel around the trough passed away. Although our production has moved with the times, our cyder is still pressed, fermented and blended and bottled on site in Suffolk to the same exacting standards set by Clement. Today our very British world-class cyders, cyder vinegars and apple juice enjoy increasingly global acclaim for quality and excellence.

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How did you hear about FBC? Tell us why you would like to take part in FBC this year and how you will be featuring your product or brand to connect with the community of bloggers?

We heard about it through local food blogger of Food Safari, a passionate advocate of Suffolk food and drink. We’re delighted to be giving a bottle of our Premier Cru Suffolk Cyder in the goodie bags for everyone attending FBC. We hope you’ll enjoy it as a drink or even for cooking with!

Cyder house retouch 450How can other non registered bloggers get their hands on your product? Where can they find it if they wanted to order or connect with you?

Aspall cyder and vinegar is widely available across the UK in all the major supermarkets as well as off-licences and delis. You’ll find our cyder on draught and in the bottle in bars and restaurants across the UK.

You can also buy online from our website. Our cyder and vinegar is also available across the world from Australia to the US, Germany to Brazil.

Are you a fan of food, travel, lifestyle blogs? 

We love to follow bloggers to keep in touch with the food and drink world. We are inspired by bloggers original recipes using cyder or vinegar in cooking or even in cocktails. It’s also great to hear about new restaurants and bars.

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How has social media helped you connect and engage more with a wider audience and particularly bloggers?

Aspall has a great wealth of stories to tell and nearly 300 years artisan experience of creating cyder, vinegar and apple juice. Social media is a fantastic way for us to tell these stories. We’ve recently started blogging ourselves, whether it’s photos of our orchards in blossom, recipes for vinegar cocktails or stories from the family archives.

We love to engage with our fans through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – to see photos of them enjoying our products or discover their recipes and ideas. We often hold cyder tasting or cyder and food pairing events with pubs and restaurants around the country and it’s fun to share these on social media and hear how much people loved trying our products.

We regularly run social media competitions to engage with a wider audience – a recent competition to win a year’s supply of cyder in partnership with the Royal Albert Hall had 3,500 entrants.

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What positive effect are food, travel, or lifestyle bloggers having on the industry? 

There are so many trends to enjoy at the moment, one that springs to mind is a new enthusiasm for cocktails with vinegar which are becoming the hot new trend in mixology, appearing on the menus of some of the top cocktail bars in London and New York.

Vinegar cocktails aren’t a new concept. Back in the 18th Century, syrup vinegar left over from preserving fruits, also known as a shrub, was mixed with liqueurs to balance drinks. The flavour is different depending on the fruit and what else has gone into the preserving jar – this is where you can get really creative! A lot of science goes in to making a great cocktail, and it all comes down to balance – not overpowering but not bland, the right amount of ice, and crucially not too sweet, not too sour. And that’s where vinegar comes in. Where many cocktails traditionally get their acid balance from the use of lemon or lime, or sometimes other fruits like apples, vinegar offers a great alternative, with almost endless flavour possibilities.

The Diffords Guide recently wrote an extensive article about the use of aceatic Acid in cocktails, explaining some of the science behind it, Acidity is incredibly important in drinks – a pH of less than 7 lends substance to everything from wine to soft drinks. In mixed drinks citric is the ‘go to’ acid, most commonly through lemon or lime juice, with malic acid arguably a close second through apples and grapes, then tartaric and lactic. But there’s another, often overlooked acid that adds complexity to cocktails – acetic acid. Vinegar is an acetic acid and offers bartenders a wealth of new flavour opportunities, so much so that it formed the basis for a seminar at this year’s recent Tales of the Cocktail. If you’re feeling inspired you’ll find some vinegar cocktail recipes on our blog.

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If you could tell people to eat one thing more often what would it be and why?

Well I know it may all sound a bit odd, but taking cyder vinegar daily as a little health tonic has a long and illustrious past. Hippocrates was prescribing vinegar for all manner of ailments as far back as 400BC, and there is much anecdotal evidence ever since this time of the health giving attributes of cyder vinegar. We have endless letters from members of the public, convinced their ailments – from arthritis to ulcerative colitis (not a great thing to google before you’ve had your tea) – have been cured by cyder vinegar. But it’s not just a cure; much of its benefit would seem to come as a preventative measure. My inspiration for its daily use was our Grandmother Perronelle. She would take a teaspoon daily mixed with her muesli and water. When she was travelling to far flung places such as China and Turkey well in to her 80’s, her list of things she had to take with her was short and simple. Passport, muesli, cyder vinegar and a squash ball. Seriously, many hotels in the developing world didn’t have plugs in their sinks or baths as she found out on her first trip so a squash ball solved this little conundrum. I’ve been taking it for the best part of 2 decades – a dessert spoonful in a tumbler of tap water or apple juice, taken with a meal. My wife and I then usually squeeze in another at lunchtime – in fact, she used to take it before she met me so she’s not brainwashed I promise! I actually find water quite bland now without it. It’s probably too early to tell just how effective it is, but I’m not ill often and most of my limbs and joints seem to be in relatively good shape. Maybe it’s a bit of placebo, but I don’t really care – anything that makes me feel this shiny on the inside is good enough for me!

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