As the chill in the air increases, so do thoughts of
curling up by the fireplace with a steaming mug of mulled
apple cider. But what kind of cider is in your mug?
Is it fresh, sweet or hard cider, or is it apple juice?
Is there a difference?
In some cider-consuming regions of the world, the term
refers to the alcoholic drink made from the fermented
juice of apples. In North America, it denotes the nonalcoholic
version, and is often called fresh or sweet cider for
clarity. Hard cider is the North American term for the
Fresh or sweet apple cider and apple juice are theoretically
the same thing. The difference is that commercial apple
juice has the pulp and any apple sediment filtered out
of it. The resulting clear liquid is often reconstituted
from concentrate, in which case water, and sometimes
sweeteners, are added. Fresh cider is unfiltered and
usually thick, brown and intensely flavored. Once you've
tasted it, you will never confuse it with apple juice.