Cider is a traditional drink in some northern Spanish regions, especially Asturias, but there is a whole ceremony wrapped around the drinking of it.
First of all, and once you have ordered your “botella de sidra”, let the waiter pour it for you. You might want to give it a go yourself, but it has to be done holding the bottle with one hand high above your head and the glass slightly inclined with the other hand just over your knees (a bottle of water and a bath tub is recommended for practicing). The pouring method allows air bubbles into the drink which gives it that special taste.
When the glass is handed over to you, drink the content straight away so that the aeration is not lost. Make sure you leave a small amount in the glass – not easy for those of us who want full value for money – swirl it around and throw it either on the floor covered in sawdust or into a receptacle provided. The whole idea here is to clean the glass for the next person, as it is traditionally shared with your drinking partners.
The waiter will pour the glasses frequently, but if you want to speed up the pace just ask for… un culín, por favor!
If you want to learn more about this fantastic beverage, then visit Nava, the cider capital of Asturias, and its Cider Museum. Or if you prefer the easier way of learning, just join the festivities when the annual “Festival de la Sidra” kicks off in the second week of July!
Taking our self-drive independent Discover Asturias NC8 Tour is a great way to explore this dramatically beautiful region.