What's the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

I’m from the US, so I’m talking about American beverages here. I know that “cider” is alcoholic in places like the UK. But I’ve noticed many stores here in the Seattle area selling both “apple juice” and “apple cider” in similar containers for about the same price. What’s the difference, then?

Someone will come along with a more detailed answer, but apple juice is clear and I assume filtered, while cider is cloudy and has more apple particles floating it it. It seems similar to the difference between jelly (clear, made from fruit juice) and jam (made from pieces of fruit).

Your master speaks


The answer is in the Wikipedia entry for “apple cider.”


If it’s clear and yella, you got juice there, fella.
If it’s tangy and brown, you’re in Cidertown!

…of course, in Canada, the whole thing’s flip-flop.

Except that there is unfiltered apple juice in the health food department, labeled unfiltered apple juice. It has a different taste (mellower) from the sharp tanginess of (that which we label) cider. So for me the question remains: What’s the difference between unfiltered apple juice and cider? Just the variety of apple?

Marketing and regional custom.

The name is the only thing that is consistently different. When I think of cider, soft or hard, I think of something tangy, as Cecil suggests may be the original distinction. Just because something says cider on the bottle, doesn’t mean it is not going to be sickly sweet and bland and indistinguishable from mediocre apple juice however.

Don’t you have real cider over there then? Is it just childrens drink

On the flip side I’ve also seen apple beverages that are clear and golden marketed as cider. I think Martinelli’s sells a cider that looks pretty much like plain old clear apple juice (it may taste different, but I’ve never tried it).

Yes, but you cannot distiguish the two just by the name ‘cider’. The alcoholic beverage is usually called ‘Hard Cider’ .

And then there’s Scrumpy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrumpy

That article does not reference Terry Pratchett. Did he never use the word ‘scrumpy’? I know he referenced it, and not using the actual work is the only excuse I can condone for him not being in the referenced section.

They have completely clear ciders here, too, that they sell along with the juice. So far as I can tell, there’s no consistent difference between “juice” and “cider.” I generally think of cider either as the cloudy unpasteurized stuff or the alcoholic juice, and apple juice as the clear pasteurized stuff, but I’ve had bottles of clear apple juice labeled as “cider” that taste just like normal apple juice.

What’s the Prarchett-Scrumpy connection?

A progressive-rock band?

I think people are confusing it with scumble.

A different kettle of…of…of…mostly apples altogether.

Ah. Perhaps the differences are enough to forgive it. It’s obviously a take-off on scrumpy, though. At least I’d imagine so. Especially the ‘hand a big mug to the new guy who doesn’t have a clue’ thing. Or does that never happen with scrumpy?

I remember Death as Bill Door getting tipsy because “They gave me an amusing apple drink.”

Ah, it’s been years since I’ve read Pratchett, but I agree that “scumble” is most likely a linguistic riff on “scrumpy.”

As stated, we do have hard cider. But why would you call apple cider a children’s drink? Just wondering.