While South African demand for other alcoholic drinks remained flat in the 12 months to May, sales of ciders made from fermented apple juice increased by 8 percent, according to wine and spirits conglomerate Distell.

Cider division head Kay Pillay said yesterday that Distell's two premium brands, Hunters and Savanna, had been listed by Euromonitor as the world's second- and third-largest cider brands, respectively, with growing sales in the UK and other markets.

Pillay said there was some confusion between genuine ciders and several apple-flavoured ales "masquerading as the real deal", with malt-based drinks given an apple flavour. - Audrey D'Angelo