As a willowy 16-year-old I spent the evening in a local country pub, playing pool and drinking some cider served straight from a barrel behind the bar - I think it was pretty strong 'scrumpy' style stuff, but I all I know is that I played the greatest games of pool I, or possibly anyone, has ever played, then fell over. I remember a mate escorting me home while I tried to crawl in the road using the white lines as a handy guide, then nothing until midday the next day, and discovered Bad Things had Happened.
Ever since, even the smell of cider has sent me running, and I haven't touched the stuff for a decade. Until yesterday, when I really wanted a drink but had no beer and no mixers for spirits, and I spotted at the back of the fridge a four pack of "Scrumpy Jack" left months ago by some house guests. Figuring that I could tip it down the sink if the smell still gave me flashbacks, I opened one and took a swig. And... it was alright. Kind of like Apple Tango, which is great. Soon I'd knocked back the whole can.
Now, maybe it's only Scrumpy Jack I can tolerate, but where else should I go next in my cider investigations? Is Strongbow worth bothering with? Do I need some artisan west country shit? This is a whole world opening up right here. Join me on this journey.