Author Topic: What's cider?  (Read 2604 times)

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Another Sarah

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What's cider?
« on: December 12, 2013, 08:14:21 AM »
I just read a post on here where the poster was advising the OP to bring a non-alcoholic drink as a gift, then suggested sparkling cider.

Being from the UK I've only ever heard of cider referred to as a drink that can be still or sparkling, but is made from fermenting the fruit (apples usually) to make it alcoholic, so I'm guessing it means something else across the pond and I'm curious.

What classes as cider?


123sandy

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 08:17:56 AM »
I think it's a sparkling apple drink. I did see packets to make hot cider too, though...

Jones

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 08:22:08 AM »
In America, "hard cider" is the alcoholic stuff, "regular" or "sparkling cider" is non alcoholic.

veryfluffy

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2013, 09:19:37 AM »
Americans ought to be a bit careful if they order it in a pub over here (UK) then -- cider usually ranges from 4% to as much as 8% alcohol. I don't think there is such a thing as non-alcoholic cider. How is it different from apple juice? Or is it like Appletise?
   

dawbs

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 09:27:43 AM »
Americans ought to be a bit careful if they order it in a pub over here (UK) then -- cider usually ranges from 4% to as much as 8% alcohol. I don't think there is such a thing as non-alcoholic cider. How is it different from apple juice? Or is it like Appletise?

It's definately different than juice (although people will try to convince you it's not on occasion).
It's not filtered/strained (may or may not be pasturized) .
Cider is opaque and goes 'bad' (or good, if you're trying for ahrd cider) rather quickly.
I think there's a vast difference in taste (which is less true for 'cheap' cider)
(and this is highly regional in the US.  In some states, there's legally a difference between cider and juice...in others, they're interchangeable)

Another Sarah

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2013, 09:36:24 AM »
So is it made along the same lines as alcoholic cider but drunk before the alcohol bit, or is it a different sort of juice?
Also do you class only apples as cider or other fruit such as pear?

dawbs

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2013, 09:46:06 AM »
It's made the same as hard cider--by squishing the bejeebes out of apples.  If it were being made into hard cider, then it would be left to ferment.  If it's going as 'non alcoholic' cider, we just put it in a bottle and drink it (and it's most commonly bottled around here in plastic milk jugs--not bottles that are used for most juices)

I've had  what was presented to me as pear cider  once--but it's pretty rare to find and I don't think it's marketed anywhere (I only had it because I was at the farm on pressing day :).  I don't think any other fruits could be called cider though--I think everything else would be 'juice' (or, if fermented, 'wine')--apples and pears are in their own category there.  (Although I'm speaking with zero authority and research on this one  ;))

Hmmmmm

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 09:48:35 AM »
As dawbs mentioned, it varies in the US.

Here's a nice post about it.
http://www.thekitchn.com/apple-cider-vs-apple-juice-whats-the-difference-178470
I usually buy "non-shelf stable" apple cider and then make a hot apple cider drink. Occasionally I'll buy a "shelf stable" apple cider that is really just apple juice made with tarter apples.

To make a Hot Apple Cider drink, I use the apple cider product in a bottle then heat it with cinnamon stickes, orange rind, and allspice to infuse the spice into the drink. I'll sometimes add a little maple syrup but we usually don't as I don't like too much sweetness.

To me, sparkling cider is a completely different product. My sister is always bringing it to my house for the "kids to drink". I can't convince her that may kids won't touch the stuff.

camlan

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 09:51:51 AM »
So is it made along the same lines as alcoholic cider but drunk before the alcohol bit, or is it a different sort of juice?
Also do you class only apples as cider or other fruit such as pear?

The chief difference between apple cider and apple juice in the US is that apple juice is strained, so you get a clear liquid. Apple cider is not strained and is an opaque liquid because of the tiny bits of pulp left in.

Sparkling cider is just apple juice (not actual cider, I have no idea why) with carbonation added. We also have sparkling grape juice and other fruit juices.

Apple cider needs to be refrigerated. If you don't refrigerate it properly, it can ferment and become hard cider, which is probably the closest the US comes to what the UK terms cider.

Juice from pears or other fruit? It's mostly called "juice."  I've seen pear cider for sale at a few orchards, but not in supermarkets.

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cabbageweevil

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2013, 03:12:20 PM »
Cider is opaque and goes 'bad' (or good, if you're trying for ahrd cider) rather quickly.

Deviating from the strict topic; but I love the story from the Prohibition era (a true one, I gather) about the US winemaker who discovered a useful legal loophole.  This involved putting on bottles of non-alcoholic grape juice, a label reading: "Beware !  May ferment and turn into wine." The label went on to describe the stages in which this process took place -- of course, so that the purchaser could take steps to make sure that the threatened horrid thing did not happen... The stratagem was challenged in court, and I gather that it was ruled that the manufacturer was not technically in breach of the law, and could carry on doing as they were doing.

greencat

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2013, 03:17:28 PM »
I've had both alcoholic and non alcoholic pear cider (I'm in the U.S.)

SamiHami

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2013, 03:19:29 PM »
Not just made from apples, everyone! There is not much in the world that tastes as good as cherry cider!

ETA: Fermented doesn't always equal alcohol. Well, it does, but it's the length of fermentation that matters. I make homemade kombucha which is a fermented beverage, but it's only fermented a short time so any alcohol would be negligible. I haven't looked it up, but I feel pretty sure that non-alcoholic ciders must be fermented for just a short period of time to get that wonderful zing to it without allowing it to go "hard." It wouldn't be the same as just juice with added carbonation, as a PP suggested.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 03:24:03 PM by SamiHami »

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EllenS

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2013, 04:49:01 PM »
Most of the "sparkling cider" I have had, was just carbonated apple juice.

Though I think it can be made by partially-fermenting cider, as PP said.

We recently found instructions for making ginger ale by fermenting natural ginger (instead of mixing ginger syrup with carbonated water). Can't wait to try it.

jmarvellous

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2013, 04:58:26 PM »
I think others have covered cider/juice in the US already, but I'll just say I can get a hard cider at most any bar I go to (at least the ones I like). Common brands include Strongbow, Woodchuck (my preferred common one, at least in certain varieties), Hornsby's, Ace, Angry Orchard, Crispin (another favorite) and of course local brewers.

I like a mulled cider, which is generally the unfiltered non-alcoholic apple cider heated slowly with cinnamon, cloves, and maybe nutmeg or allspice, and sometimes served spiked with whiskey or rum.

EllenS

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Re: What's cider?
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2013, 05:04:54 PM »
Yes, I much preferred hard cider to beer when I was in England. (don't like beer at all, anywhere)

You can find it a lot of places in bottles, not commonly on tap outside major cities. It is MUCH better from the tap, IMO.

POD to mulled cider, my mom used to call it "Wassail".