In the "tolare sagardotegiak" (cider houses where cider is produced), season starts in January and ends in mid-May, but some cider houses nowadays open all year round. This mentioned season we can taste cider "txotx" style, straight from the barrels, and also in bottle, together with a traditional menu: cod omelette, fried cod with peppers and grilled T-bone steak.
In all "tolare" cider houses, tradition says that "sagardogile" (the ciderman) opens a "kupela" (barrel) shouting "txotx", "txurrut" or "mojón". By holding the glass in the right way (as it is shown in the image) the commensals are able to serve themselves the cider, so that they can obtain the spark and appreciate the color, aroma and taste of the cider.
The "txotx" ritual began as a private tasting for wholesale buyers (restaurants, gastronomic societies, traders) who went to cider houses for tasting the cider and choosing between different barrels.
Over time, it was opened to public participation, until it became a winter and spring gastronomic event in the Basque land.