Scrumpy Cider – By Andy Hamilton

You can’t beat a good bit of West Country cider. If last year you noticed that your neighbour left the apples to rot on their tree; this year knock on their door and ask for them in return for some cider.


  • 3.6 kilos (8lb) Apples, any apples will do except crab.
  • 9 ltrs (2 gallons) water
  • 28grams (1oz) root ginger
  • Juice of four lemons
  • some empty resealable bottles

Cut up the unpeeled apples roughly with a non metallic knife.  Cover with two gallons of boiling water preferably in a brewers bucket. Incidentally you must not use any metal in this recipe.

Leave the mixture for two weeks, returning to crush the apples well, now and again. By now and again I guess you could get away with doing it 4 times as long as the mixture is well liquefied. Be careful that mould does not form at this stage.

Stick the kettle on. Strain the liquid and add the bruised root ginger, lemon juice and sugar*. Give it a good stir to ensure that the sugar has dissolved.

Add quarter of a pint of boiling water and leave the whole thing to stand again for just over a fortnight removing the scum off the top as it rises.

You will need two people for this next bit. Strain into resealable bottles and screw on the tops lightly for 2 days, just to the point where they would need another half turn to fully close them.

Ok so you have waited almost five weeks, now tighten the stoppers and keep in a cool, dark and most importantly, dry place for two months.

If you are an American reading this I am talking of the British cider, which of course contains alcohol.

Please remember to drink irresponsibly until 4am and you no longer make any sense, unless you are driving then don’t drink at all.

* There is enough natural sugar and yeast in the apples but add a little extra
of both should you want a strong cider about 1kg of sugar and 1 teaspoon of
yeast should be fine for 3.6kg of apples.

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