Being a Somerset girl I am particularly fond of Cider. But when I first arrived in Korea, I was rather dismayed to find that there was rather a lack of cider on the fair peninsula. I scoured the bars and finally found that they served it at The Wolfhound in Itaewon. It was on this night almost 5 years ago that I met my fiancé. If it wasn’t for cider, we probably never would have met. So it shall always have a special place in my heart for this reason alone.
Luckily for all you lovely cider lovers out there, things have moved on quite a lot in the past five years. This month I even wrote a piece about cider for Chips maps!!! If you haven’t heard of Chip’s maps you should run right out now and grab yourself a copy from your neighbourhood bar in Itaewon. It’s a fun, fantastic, and free magazine which has all the latest happenings in the Itaewon area. In the article I gave my top 5, but I like to go the extra mile for you my dear fans so here are the top 10!
1. My top place has to go to Bulmers Pear. I was always a fan of this one at home, so I was thrilled to finally find it here. For me it is the best pear cider available in Korea an always quenches my thirst. Available at Bonny’s in cans for 7,000 won.
2. Magners – Magners is finally available in draft form in various bars around Seoul. They even have their own bar at the IFC Mall in Yuiedo. It’s by far and away the nicest cider available on draft. The cheapest price in Itaewon is at the Bull and Barrel where it costs a mere 8,000 a pint.
3. Hunters Gold – You may have discovered by now that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. I prefer my cider slightly sweeter too. So I love this South African offering. It also comes in a dry variety for those who don’t like it quite so sweet. Available at Phillies, Bonny’s, Scrooges and Braai Republic for around 6,000 a bottle.
4. Savannah Dry – I tried this for the first time, on my cider crawl and was pleasantly surprised. One of my favourite bar tenders recommended drinking it with a slice of lemon and it was such a delight. Available at Braai Republic and that amazing little bottleshop in the alley behind the Hamilton Hotel.
5. Monteith’s – In particular I am a fan of the berry one, but they also have crushed pear and apple. A nice little trio of ciders hailing from New Zealand. I was stoked to see these in my local convenience mart in HBC and at Bonny’s for around 5,000.
6. Sommersby – I wasn’t overly keen on this when I first tried it. It had a very artificial sweet apply taste. I decided to pour it over the ice that had accompanied it and found that it tasted a lot better. I wont get into the cider with ice debate, but if it makes it taste better then why the hell not. At Reilly’s and The Wolfhound for 6,500.
7. Strongbow – At home I have been known to enjoy a bow or two. No it’s nothing compared to some of the local ciders we get back in the west country but its consistently good. You can even pick these up in Homeplus for about 3,000 now so it’s always worth keeping a few in the fridge.
8. Bulmers Original is pretty much available in bottles all over Itaewon. Costing around 9,000 a bottle, it’s still worth every penny to quench that summer thirst.
9. Magners pear. You may have guessed by now, that I am somewhat fond of pear cider and I sure do like the Magners one. This one is at The Wolfhound for 7,000.
10. Rock Creek – I had to have this on the list, even though it isn’t all that special now that other ciders are available. It was the original and is served at various bars all over the country. It filled that cider hole in my heart for a long time and for that I am very grateful.
For all you cider lovers out there, you may also be interested to know that down at the Wolfhound they have cider Sunday, where they knock off a 1,000 won off of everyone one of their six ciders. If that’s not a reason for a few pints then I don’t know what is.