Flavoured ciders – how are they made?

For us in Lepola the flavoured ciders have been the thing from the beginning. We love to test new flavours and develop products using the ingredients from the surrounding nature. The scope of flavoured ciders is almost limitless! Flavour combination can be tested widely from fruits to berries, vegetables to herbs and spices. Testing and innovation is fun and inspiring for us!

Sometimes some people think we make the flavoured cider because the original base cider has been somehow faulty. However for us it’s very important that the base cider is very high quality to create a balanced cider. Flavouring can off course improve for example the fruitiness and tannin but, the faults can not be hidden with flavours.


In principle we are looking for quality ingredients that would be interesting to flavour the cider with. The spices can be anything from traditional pairings with cider to more unconventional flavours. With flavour we mean anything natural, suitable for food product, that can bring the cider to new level and make it interesting.


We follow what happens around the world

We are following actively what products are produced in the other countries, for example Australia, UK and USA. We can get an idea from there to be transferred suitable for ingredients available in Finland and our production. Our Honey Apple cyser can be an example of this. This is type of mead produced widely in the world. We wanted to make our own version of this using the honey of our own bees. We wanted to make this product bubbly and lower alcohol. The cysers are often stronger and more wine-like. Our Honey Cyser is session version of a more traditional stronger cyser. Cyser by the way means honey wine made of apple juice and honey.

We research the ingredients available near us

We are continuously researching our surroundings, what ingredients could be found from nature and farms around us. The idea of our Cucumber Apple cider came when we wanted to use an ingredient farmed at the neighbourhood. In our area the cucumber is farmed in many places so we decided to test it. And it worked! Fresh cucumber and fruity apple cider create refreshing flavour experience, everything in the product produced under 60 kilometres from Lepola!

By accident

Cider making doesn’t always go as planned and sometimes the products are born almost by accident. Our Hoppy Apple cider came along like this. Very late in the Autumn one apple grower called us and said they have some apple that the contracted buyer didn’t pick up. We bought the apples off them and started the juice pressing station that had already been packed up for the year. Then just juiced the apples, fermented the juice and put the cider to mature and to be worried about later. The base cider was done and we thought we will decide later what to make out of it. In the beginning of the next spring we still didn’t know what to do with the cider. Then the covid pandemic hit Finland, shut everything down and changed all our plans for coming spring and summer. Then we had time to concentrate to this cider that had been left to mature for the time being. We got an idea of dry hopping the product as we had tasted many hopped ciders and tested making them before. Dry-hopping can also be done just before bottling the cider, so it suited perfectly for this product that didn’t have a plan.

Own preferences and co-operation

Emmi from Lepola has always loved cherries, so cherry cider had to be tested. We found Finnish farmer with sweet cherries – Tommola Garden. We started co-operation with them and now we have made two batches of Cherry Apple cider. Co-operation with other small producers is very important for us!


Like in all new product development testing and research is important part of the whole process. Product development is not always just testing the new flavour combinations but also a lot of improving and developing the whole process. Before the main production of a new product we have to think through the whole production process, how to make different raw materials work in our facilities. We also have to mention that not all the tests work! All the flavour combinations are not a success..

Cider making is to find just the right thing that people want to drink! We always have the goal in our minds to make products we would like to drink in the restaurant or buy from the grocery store. The products we believe could bring enjoyment to other people too!


Emmi & Aaron