Plastics on Holiday – Scrumpy

Image027.jpgScrumpy is a noxious apple-based alcoholic drink which underpins the shaky economies of Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall in England‘s West Country. On a rain-soaked August morning, we find ourselves running for cover into a remote distillery which is warm and welcoming and full of the comforting aromas of apples and alcohol.


The scrumpy is dispensed into plastic flagons from two great barrels behind the counter – one medium, one dry. We are given two murky thimblefuls to taste. The medium one is dry enough to take the enamel off your teeth and rip out your stomach lining in one go. The dry one leaves you gasping for air and bereft of the power of speech. It’s a hard call.


The tattooed guy next to me is coming back for a 5 litre refill of the dry scrumpy, but we opt for the 2.5 litre flagon of medium. It is 6% alcohol, and the taste will overpower any food. Still it is one of those drinks like ouzo or retsina or gentian which you drink on holiday and it seems like a good idea at the time.


(photo: Jack Ratt scrumpy from Lyme Bay Winery)

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