Apple juice vs. cider

I thought that the difference between juice and cider was that juice was made from picked apples and that cider was made from any apples, including windfalls with bad spots. Thus cider has a stronger, more fermented flavour. My further impression is that apple juice is usually filtered and clarified, while cider contains more apple particles. And if not pasteurized, cider will ferment due to natural yeasts from the skins of the apples. (Cider can be pasteurized for safety’s sake.)

“Applejack” or apple brandy is the result of leaving fermented or “hard” cider outside to freeze and then removing the ice crystals. The remaining fluid is much higer in alcohol content.

One thing not mentioned in that (strangely unhelpful) article, is that in the UK, cider is always a fermented alcoholic drink. Here, therefore, there is an obvious difference.

Speaking from the point of view of a person who lives in Ohio, I could get “cider” which was unpasturized up until about 5 years ago. I don’t think this is possible here anymore. It may well be up to individual states to control this.

And the unpasturized cider had WAY more taste, and seemed to be much more unfiltered.

Just been reading Cecils thoughts on what makes apple juice apple juice and cider cider.
Over here in England its a lot more straight forward.
Juice from apples comes in 3 forms, apple juice, cider and scrumpy (there is a fourth called rough scrumpy but trust me you’re better off not knowing)

If a factory processes apples and adds sugar preservatives addatives etc but it remains alcohol free, its apple juice.
If the factory does the same thing but proccesses it in such a way that it becomes alcoholic, it’s cider. Its produced in two areas of England mainly. And they are Somerset and Hereford, this being where most of the apples grew historically I suppose.
The third type “Scrumpy” is mostly sold illegally by farmers who make it themselves in order to blind the rest of the population, especially tourists.
Simple rule:- Apple juice is bad for your teeth and contains many chemicals to make it last a long time on the shelf (probably because it’s not very popular over here).
Cider is bad for you. End of story. It makes you very drunk very quickly, turns young men into violent staggering fools and young women into much the same.
Scrumpy can give you the hangover from hell just by looking at it ! Should be avoided at all costs.
Now, Rough Scrumpy is another matter altogether. Rough Scrumpy is sold illicitly again by farmers with no regard for human safety. It usually has lumps of wood and dead creatures still floating in its thick cloudy midsts.
It is believed that the phrase “Blind Drunk” comes from farm workers drinking too much of this home made brew which tends to be made from apples found on the ground which are already half fermented.
I dont knwo if this helps or not - just a point of view from England.

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Boards, Slavo, we’re glad to have you with us. BTW, when you start a new thread, it’s helpful to others if you provide a link to the column that you’re commenting on. No biggie, I’ve edited the link into your post; and you’ll know for next time.

Unfortunately, here in the States, there is a distinction between “hard cider” (alcoholic) and “cider”. In the northeast, at least, it breaks down as follows:[ul]
[li]“Apple juice” is sweet and clear, and is drunk only by small children (and, for some reason, people who have just donated blood);[/li][li]“Cider” is more tart and cloudy, and is drunk at least once every autumn by all decent, upstanding Americans;[/li][li]“Hard cider” alone is alcoholic, and is drunk by incestuous, shotgun-totin’, feudin’ illiterates from the southern mountains.[/li][/ul]

Hard Cider yep we would call scrumpy…drank by politicans :smiley:

In Germany we like groups of threes.

1.: “Apfelsaft” is apple juice. it is non-alcoholic and can be either clear or cloudy
2.: “Apfelwein” (apple wine) is a clear alcoholic apple cider. Drunk mostly in southern Hessia, sometimes mixed with sparkling water or shudder orange Fanta. The general effects of Äbbelwoi (that’s how we pronounce it in Hessen) on the Germans seem to be similiar to cider on the English.
3.: “Apfelmost” seems to be similiar to scrumpy. It is usually cloudy and sometimes slightly carbonated from the still ongoing fermentation. This will not only give you the hangover from hell, but you’ll get the runs at the same time. Great fun for the whole family.

If you want confusion, try the Norwegian distinctions:

Eplejuice or Eplemost - non-alchoholic pure Apple juice (compare with German Apfelmost at the other end of the scale)

Eplesaft - Juice concentrate, most likely with added sugar (or the drink resulting after you’ve added water)

Eplenektar - non-alchoholic juice with added sugar

Eplecider or Eplesider - alchoholic

Amen, brother, to the first two points.

“Apple juice” is for those who feel that high fructose corn syrup alone doesn’t have enough flavor.

Farmstand “Apple cider” (especially early Apple Cider from tart apples) is one of the joys that comes from being in New England in the autumn. Unfortunately, due to fears of e.coli, most farmstands are now pasteurizing their cider. Which means that there is now far less opportunity for…

When that forgotten jug of farmstand cider keeps blowing the cap off, the other great joy of living in New England is sipping that cider, while extolling the virtues of buying locally in an increasingly slurry voice. Of course, after a few hours of that… Come to think of it, the only objection I have to your description would be to limit it to those living on southern mountains.
Incidentally, this has been discussed a few times, with the distinctions between American and European terms for “cider” becoming clearer.

best to all,


I’m also from the UK

I spent much of my ealy drinking years as a “cider cretin” as opposed to “lager lout” As such I can’t touch the stuff now. Slavo got it pretty much right apart from the fact that cider is sometimes regarded as a kids drink.

I was served cider from the age of 14 or so, even though it is on average much stronger than beer or lager, whereas I could not buy other beverages until I was 18. I think the landlord thought, it’s ok it’s only apple juice.

Oops, forgot the link. Too much hahd cidah…

best to all,


Note to self: next time in England, find some rough scrumpy…

Even better is scumble. :smiley: