2 June 2018

Sweet Cheeks Cider (@glouc_services Farm Shop, M5) By @SpectreUK

This Cotswold Cider is called Sweet Cheeks and was named to celebrate the great embarrassed British 'Blush'. It's a blend of cider, blackberry and elderberry. It's name and illustration on the label reminded me of a fairly prominent birthmark of mine. Nothing kinky I assure you. I have a strawberry mark or Strawberry Hemangioma on my right cheek. I have been blessed with a fairly rosy left cheek so it's not all that noticeable all the time, just when I'm too cold (which I suppose can be often in the UK) or feeling ill, although I see it every time I look in the mirror. It was a birthmark that returned in my early twenties and hasn't gone away. I've had few jibes about it, other than the "you've got something on your cheek" or such like, probably because I've often been told that I don't suffer fools gladly.

Anyway, back to this Sweet Cheeks cider. I hadn't been expecting this medium cider to be carbonated, so the cheeky fizz on opening the 330ml bottle was a pleasant surprise. It first had a dominant cider apple smell to it, followed closely by a punch of blackberry and a kick of elderberry. This cider smells of summer. It's a hot day today (which makes a change), although I can still see the mark on my cheek as I've been off work with an upset tummy for a few days. I'd recommend checking an outdoor hotel swimming pool for dead bugs before you swim in it. There's serious fruitiness in the first taste of this deep red cider. Straight away there's cider apples bashing against blackberry whilst elderberry seems to nudge in between them trying to break up the fight, with a tussle of these flavours right through to the aftertaste. Big on flavour and long on refreshment, this 4% volume Sweet Cheeks cider could certainly make anyone blush on both cheeks at the same time, or one after the other…

In art college we were taught to draw face portraits symmetrically, whereas that's often not the case. It just reminds me that it's okay to be different. We are all different in such a variety of ways, whether it may be by skin, size, abilities, learning or beliefs. We are often all just trying to get along with the everyday. We all just have to work out a way to respect each other for that.

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