Cider is a quintessentially British drink with so many flavours and different varieties out there that you are spoilt for choice.

I personally adore it, and even though I have faced much derision from my friends for preferring it over beer I'd still argue it is the superior drink.

It can sometimes be a tricky task to find a decent one in a pub though, with many usually just stocking Strongbow, Bulmers or Inches which are underwhelming to say the least.

When a decent one is on tap it is a joy to behold, but in most cases you'll need to go to the supermarket or shop online to find top-quality ones.

Ham & High: Supermarket ciders often offer a cheaper alternative to regular brandsSupermarket ciders often offer a cheaper alternative to regular brands (Image: Newsquest)

If you are a cider drinker like myself you may have noticed that many supermarkets often have their own-branded versions of ciders amongst the usual options.

In most cases they are offering a cheaper version compared to the regular stuff but how does it actually stack up?

When I first started drinking at home these were the sort of ciders I started on, and to be honest I can't say I have many fond memories of them.

However, maybe in the intervening years they might seem better so I decided to compare cider from a few different supermarkets.

I bought apple ciders from Asda, Tesco, M&S, Aldi and Lidl to blind taste test them so that I couldn't be influenced by any preconceived notions of what they might be like.

Each cider was kept in the fridge for a day before being opened and poured into a glass, and I had a bit of water between each one to cleanse my palette.

For the sake of clarity, I had a family member pour out the drinks into glasses out of my view, tested them, and then only found out which cider was which afterwards. The images of the cider cans next to the glasses were taken after the taste test had been concluded.

Blind taste testing Asda, Tesco, Aldi, M&S and Lidl ciders


Ham & High: Aldi's Taurus cider was not a particularly great optionAldi's Taurus cider was not a particularly great option (Image: Newsquest)

Price: £2.29 for four 440ml cans

I started off with what was later revealed to be Aldi's Taurus cider, and the immediate impression of it was that it was a bit rough on the throat.

Aldi's own versions of supermarket staples usually hold up quite well, but whoever is in their cider procurement department may need to fine-tune this one.

Along with Lidl, this was the joint-cheapest at £2.29 for four 440ml cans so if you are in real bind for cider options it is at least very reasonably priced.

Score: 4/10


Ham & High: The M&S cider had a rather unpleasant smellThe M&S cider had a rather unpleasant smell (Image: Newsquest)

Price: £5.75 for four 440ml cans

M&S was up next with their British Cider and didn't show much improvement from the first one I tried.

What was especially apparent to me was the unpleasant odour it gave off which made it a bit off-putting going to drink it.

Surprisingly the actual taste was better than the smell at least but overall it was a very unremarkable drink.

This cider was by far the most expensive at £5.75 but it really didn't reflect it in the taste.

On the packaging, it said the cider was produced by the Westons Cider Mill which makes such brands as Henry Westons, Old Rosie, Mortimer's and Stowford Press.

Based off this effort they can't be using their best apples for it.

Score: 4/10


Ham & High: Tesco's apple cider was very mediocreTesco's apple cider was very mediocre (Image: Newsquest)

Price: £2.85 for four 440ml cans

Tesco was revealed to be the third cider I tried and this was the one I have the strongest memories with, having had it plenty of times when I started out drinking at home.

It was certainly easy to drink and didn't have the same roughness the prior two had.

However, it was still wholly unremarkable and I'm having difficulty coming up with a more detailed description for a very bland drink.

Score: 5/10


Ham & High: Lidl's Woodgate Original Cider did not provide a pleasant experienceLidl's Woodgate Original Cider did not provide a pleasant experience (Image: Newsquest)

Price: £2.29 for four 440ml cans

You might be forgiven for confusing Lidl's Woodgate Original Cider and Aldi's Taurus cider with the style of packaging, but Lidl's fared worse in the taste test.

This was the only one I actually disliked when trying them out, and it was a struggle to finish the meagre amount that had been put in the glass to test it.

Its ropey flavour definitely doesn't appeal, and despite its cheap price it is not worth seeking out.

Score: 3/10


Ham & High: Asda's cider was the best of the bunchAsda's cider was the best of the bunch (Image: Newsquest)

Price: £2.50 for four 440ml cans

Asda was revealed to be the final cider I had tried and was definitely the best of the bunch.

It had a clear and refined taste, was consistently pleasant to drink and a nice smell to boot.

Overall, it came the closest to actually tasting like something similar to a big brand like Strongbow making it stand out amongst its peers.

Score: 6/10

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The verdict

After testing the five ciders, in the end, the one I thought held up the best was the one from Asda.

It was certainly the one that tasted the most like a 'regular' apple cider you might find from a Strongbow or a Bulmers anyway.

At £2.50 for four cans it was right in the middle in terms of pricing, with it only being 21p more expensive than the Aldi and Lidl options.

If you were looking for a cheap option for cider then it is certainly the best of the ones I tried.