Perry is from the same family of alcoholic drinks as cider, but uses pear juice instead of apple juice (pear-y, geddit?).
Just as west-country cider is made from cider apples, so Real Perry is made from Perry Pears, a very different fruit to those in your fruit salad. Perry pears are small and hard, but the juice they give up can turn into a splendidly complex drink which tends not to be bone dry like real cider. That's because of the special sugars including sorbitol which don't ferment fully out. The sorbitol also has a slight laxative effect, so you don't normally want to drink more than a few halves of perry in one day.
Perry pear trees were often planted close to the farmhouse and the quantity of perry produced was enough to be appreciated by the farmer's family, while the workers were given cider.
In Normandy, France, perry is also distilled to make a calvados type drink and an aperitif.
Perry pear juice mixed with cider apple juice and fermented together, makes another lovely drink which has been dubbed 'pider' for want of a prettier name.
Difference between perry making and cider making
Making perry is generally a similar process to that of making cider except that:
- the fruits sink in water
- the pulp is often slushy and more difficult to press
- many varieties are quite low acid,
- it doesn't readily keeve
- the juice needs an extra 50 ppm SO2 than cider
- some varieties throw a terrific tannin haze
Perry is more prone to turning acetic
Difference between Perry And Pear Cider
The Industrial cider producers through their National Association of Cider Makers have decided that the name perry is too confusing for the customers to understand, so they are promoting the name "Pear Cider" with some success.
We would differentiate between traditional craft perry and industrial pear cider mainly through the juice content. Traditional perry should be made from 100% fresh pressed Perry Pears, not from conference or dessert pears, and not from concentrated apple juice with pear flavouring added. Pear cider is a marketing term used for alcopops which have cyclical fashions with a limited lifespan.