As I’ve learned more and more about cidermaking, I’ve grown less enamored with mass-produced ciders. They all seem so similar. By similar, I mean sticky-sweet and less than wonderful.
So what do you do with something that’s not fantastic (yet readily available)? You mix it with something else and hope the result is better than the sum of its parts.
Fortunately, this approach works wonderfully with mass-produced cider and beer cocktails. For instance, you can make a Black Adder.
A Black Adder is a layer of stout over a layer of cider. It looks like this
You can also make a Poor Man’s Black Velvet, which is stout and cider as well, but it’s blended rather than layered.(1)
Don’t let the two names fool you. These things are not as clear as they seem. While some call the blended drink a Black Velvet and the layered a Black Adder, others use Black Velvet for both. Usually if you order a Black Velvet in a bar you’ll get a layered drink. Either way, you can’t lose.
There’s also a Snake Bite, which is lager and cider. It’s called a Snake Bite whether it’s layered or blended.
No matter what you get, be warned: these drinks are tasty and stealthy. They go down easy, but they pack an unexpected punch.
1. A stout & cider blend is called a Poor Man’s Black Velvet because the original Black Velvet consists of stout and (the more expensive) champagne.