Cider: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the non-alcoholic beverage commonly known in Canada and the United States as cider, see Apple cider.
Cider in a pint glass.
American hard cider in a bottle.

Cider (pronounced /ˈsaɪdər/) is a beverage made from apple juice. Non-alcoholic and alcoholic varieties are produced. Alcoholic beverages from cider are made from the fermented juice of apples and are known in the U.S. and Canada as hard cider, while non-alcoholic versions are known as apple cider. Alcoholic cider varies in alcohol content from less than 3% ABV in French cidre doux to 8.5% ABV or more in traditional English ciders.

Although cider can be made from any variety of apple, certain cultivars are preferred in some regions, and these may be known as cider apples. Cider is popular in the United Kingdom, especially in South West England. The United Kingdom has the highest per capita consumption of cider, as well as the largest cider-producing companies in the world,[1] including H.P. Bulmer, the largest.[2] As of 2006, the UK produces 600 million litres of cider each year (130 million imperial gallons).[3]

The beverage is also popular and traditional in Ireland; in Brittany (chistr) and Normandy (cidre) in France; in Asturias (Spain) (sidra); in the Rheinland-Pfalz, Hessen (Frankfurt am Main) and other regions of Germany (Most, Viez or Apfelwein); and in the Basque country (sagardoa) of Spain and France. Argentina is a cider-producing and -drinking country, especially the provinces of Río Negro and Mendoza.

Pear cider is becoming an increasingly popular term and is seen as an alternative name for perry. Its increased use is driven by drinks manufacturers, in order to make it more accessible and understandable to the younger generation who have been attracted to the category in recent years.[4]


Appearance and types of cider

The flavour of different ciders differs. Cider can be classified from dry to sweet. The appearance ranges from cloudy with sediment to completely clear. Colour ranges from light yellow through orange to brown. The variations in clarity and colour are mostly due to filtering between pressing and fermentation. Some apple varieties will produce a clear cider without any filtration. Sparkling and still ciders are made; sparkling is more common.

Modern, mass-produced ciders more closely resemble sparkling wine in appearance. More traditional brands tend to be darker and cloudier. They are often stronger than processed varieties and taste more strongly of apples. Almost colourless white cider is produced on a large scale. It is typically strong (7%-8% ABV) and available very cheaply. Some ciders produced in the UK are sold under the alternative spelling "cyder".

Cider production


Scratting and pressing

Few traditional horse-drawn circular apple crushers are still in use, but many may still be seen used as garden ornaments, flower planters or architectural features

Apples grown for consumption are suitable for cider making, though some regional cider-makers prefer to use a mix of eating and cider apples (as in Kent, England), or exclusively cider apples (as in the West Country, England). There are many hundreds of varieties of cultivars developed specifically for cider making.

Once the apples are gathered from trees in orchards they are scratted (ground down) into what is called pomace or pommage. Historically this was done using pressing stones with circular troughs, or by a cider mill. Cider mills were traditionally driven by the hand, water-mill, or horse-power. In modern times they are likely to be powered by electricity. The pulp is then transferred to the cider press and built up in layers known as cheeses into a block.

Traditionally the method for squeezing the juice from the cheese involves placing sweet straw or hair cloths between the layers of pomace. This will alternate with slatted ash-wood racks, until there is a pile of ten or twelve layers. It is important to minimise the time that the pomace is exposed to air in order to keep oxidation to a minimum.

The set is then subjected to increasing degrees of pressure, until all the 'must' or juice is squeezed from the pomace. This juice, after being strained in a coarse hair-sieve, is then put into either open vats or closed casks. The pressed pulp is given to farm animals as winter feed, composted or discarded, or used to make liqueurs.[5]


Layers of pomace are wrapped in canvas

Fermentation is carried out at a temperature of 4–16 °C (40–60 °F). This is low for most kinds of fermentation, but is beneficial for cider as it leads to slower fermentation with less loss of delicate aromas.

Shortly before the fermentation consumes all the sugar, the liquor is racked (siphoned) into new vats. This leaves dead yeast cells and other undesirable material at the bottom of the old vat. At this point it becomes important to exclude airborne acetic bacteria, so vats are filled completely to exclude air. The fermenting of the remaining available sugar generates a small amount of carbon dioxide that forms a protective layer, reducing air contact. This final fermentation creates a small amount of carbonation. Extra sugar may be added specifically for this purpose. Racking is sometimes repeated if the liquor remains too cloudy.

Apple based juices with cranberry also make fine ciders; and many other fruit purées or flavourings can be used, such as grape, cherry, and raspberry.

The cider is ready to drink after a three month fermentation period, though more often it is matured in the vats for up to two or three years.[6]

Blending and bottling

For larger-scale cider production, ciders from vats produced from different varieties of apple may be blended to accord with market taste. If the cider is to be bottled, usually some extra sugar is added for sparkle. Higher quality ciders can be made using the champagne method, but this is expensive in time and money and requires special corks, bottles, and other equipment. Some home brewers use beer bottles, which work perfectly well, and are inexpensive. This allows the cider to become naturally carbonated.


Alcohol and Health
Short-term effects of alcohol
Long-term effects of alcohol
Alcohol and cardiovascular disease
Alcoholic liver disease
Alcoholic hepatitis
Alcohol and cancer
Alcohol and weight
Fetal alcohol syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Blackout (alcohol-related amnesia)
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
Recommended maximum intake
Wine and health

Conventional apple cider has a relatively high concentration of phenolics and antioxidants which may be helpful for preventing heart disease, cancer and other ailments.[7] This is, in part, because apples themselves have a fairly high concentration of phenolics.

Cider festivals

A cider festival is an organised event promoting cider and usually perry. A variety of ciders and perries will be available for tasting and buying. Festivals may be organised by cider-promoting private organizations, pubs or cider producers.

Uses of cider

A distilled spirit, apple brandy, is made from cider. Its best known forms are calvados and applejack. In Calvados, Normandy, France, calvados is made from cider by double distillation. In the first pass, the result is a liquid containing 28–30% alcohol. In a second pass, the amount of alcohol is augmented to about 40%. Applejack is a strong alcoholic beverage made in North America by concentrating cider, either by the traditional method of freeze distillation, or by true evaporative distillation. In traditional freeze distillation, a barrel of cider is left outside during the winter. When the temperature is low enough, the water in the cider starts to freeze. If the ice is removed, the (now more concentrated) alcoholic solution is left behind in the barrel. If the process is repeated often enough, and the temperature is low enough, the alcohol concentration is raised to 30–40% alcohol by volume. In freeze distillation, methanol and fusel oil, which are natural fermentation by-products, may reach harmful concentrations. These toxins can be separated when regular heat distillation is performed. Home production of applejack is illegal in most countries.

A popular aperitif in Normandy is pommeau – a drink produced by blending unfermented apple juice and apple brandy in the barrel (the high alcoholic content of the spirit stops the fermentation process of the cider and the blend takes on the character of the aged barrel).

Cocktails may include cider. Besides kir and snakebite, an example is Black Velvet in a version of which cider may replace champagne, usually referred to as a "Poor Man's Black Velvet".

A few producers in Quebec have developed ice cider (French: cidre de glace), sometimes called "apple ice wine"), inspired from ice wines, where the apples are naturally frozen either before or after harvest. The alcohol concentration of ice cider is 9–13%.

Cider may also be used to make vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is noted for its high acidity and its flavour.

Related drinks

Other fruits can be used to make cider-like drinks. The most popular is perry, known in France as poiré, produced mostly in Normandy, and is made from fermented pear juice. A branded sweet perry known as Babycham, marketed principally as a women's drink and sold in miniature Champagne-style bottles, was once popular but has become unfashionable. Another related drink is cyser – cider fermented with honey.

Although not widely made in modern times, various other pome fruits can produce palatable drinks. Apicius, in Book II of De re coquinaria, includes a recipe calling for quince cider.

Another similar drink is plum jerkum, made from fermented plums, traditional of Warwickshire in the English Midlands. It is said that it "left the head clear while paralysing the legs". The Warwickshire Drooper plum from which it is traditionally brewed is now uncommon, which explains the rarity of the drink.[8]

Cider by country

Before the development of rapid long distance transportation, regions of cider consumption generally coincided with regions of cider production: that is, areas with apple orchards. For example, R. A. Fletcher notes that in the Liber Sancti Jacobi, cider was said to be more common than wine in 12th century Galicia.


In Argentina, cider, or sidra is by far the most popular alcoholic carbonated drink during the Christmas and New Year holidays. It has traditionally been considered the choice of the middle and lower classes (along with ananá fizz, cider and pineapple juice), whereas the higher classes would rather go for champagne for their Christmas or New Year toast. Popular commercial brands of cider are Real, La Victoria, Del Valle, La Farruca and Rama Caída. It is usually marketed in 0.72 litre glass or plastic bottles.


Until recent years, virtually the only brands of cider in Australia have been Strongbow and Mercury Cider. These remain the most popular. Mercury Cider is made at the Cascade Brewery in Hobart, Tasmania. Three Oaks Cider made in South Australia by Vok Beverages has recently entered the market. Pipsqueak brewed by Little Creatures (brewery) in Fremantle, Western Australia is a relative new-comer in the Cider market. Even more recently, Tooheys Brewery released Tooheys Extra Dry 5 Seeds Cider. All three of these latter brands are quite large commercial entities and like Strongbow and Mercury their products are simplistic, appealing to the mass market.

Many other artisanal, small brands have emerged of late. These ciders, made using traditional methods and traditilal cider apple varieties, are made in Victoria and Tasmania. Huon Cider, made in New Norfolk from apples grown in the Huon Valley, is available on the mainland. Huon Cider is made from Sturmer Pippens, an ancient variety. Henry of Harcourt and Bress cider (both from Harcourt, Victoria) are two of the most complex and interesting ciders that are commercially available. As yet these are the only two mailand brands that use cider apples rather than sweet eating apples. From Victoria's Yarra Valley come Coldstream cider, Kelly Brothers cider and Napoleone & Co. The Bridge Road Brewery and Amulet Winery, both in Victoria's Beechworth, have released ciders.

There has been enormous growth in the cider market from late 2008 onwards. Cider had the largest percentage growth in sales of alcohol products in 2009. With the growth in interest in cider, there have been a large number of imported ciders arriving on Australian shores, mainly from France & England, but also from Spain and New Zealand.


In Austria cider is made in the south west of Lower Austria, the so called "Mostviertel" and in Upper Austria. Almost every farmer there has some apple or pear trees. Many of the farmers also have a kind of inn called "Mostheuriger". There they serve cider and also something to eat. Cider is typically called "Most".


Scottish & Newcastle own Belgium cider maker Stassen SA, who in addition to their own local brands such as Strassen X Cider also produce Strongbow Jacques, a 5.5% ABV cider with cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant flavours. Zonhoven based Konings NV specialises in private label ciders for European retailers and offers a wide variety of flavours and packaging options to the beverage industry.


In Quebec, cider is considered a traditional alcoholic beverage. Cider making was, however, forbidden from the early years of the British rule as it was in direct conflict with established British brewers' interests (most notably John Molson). In recent years, a unique variety has emerged on the market: ice cider. This type of cider is made from apples with a particularly high level of sugar caused by natural frost.

In Ontario, apple cider or apple hooch is often home-made. Cider is commercially produced in British Columbia (large and small producers), New Brunswick and Ontario, usually with a 7% alcohol content. It is sold in 341 ml glass bottles and 2 litre plastic bottles, and does not usually have added sugar.

Channel Islands

Along with Normandy, the Channel Islands had a strong cider-making tradition. Cider had been the ordinary drink of people of Jersey from the 16th century, when the commercial opportunities offered by cider exports spurred the transformation of feudal open-field agriculture to enclosure. Until the 19th century, it was the largest agricultural export with up to a quarter of the agricultural land given over to orchards. In 1839, for example, 268,199 gallons (1,219,257 litres) of cider were exported from Jersey to England alone,[9] and almost half a million gallons were exported from Guernsey 1834–1843,[10] but by 1870 exports from Jersey had slumped to 4,632 gallons.[11]

Beer had replaced cider as a fashionable drink in the main export markets, and even the home markets had switched to beer as the population became more urban. Potatoes overtook cider as the most important crop in Jersey in the 1840s, and in Guernsey glasshouse tomato production grew in importance. Small-scale cider production on farms for domestic consumption, particularly by seasonal workers from Brittany and mainland Normandy, was maintained, but by the mid-20th century production dwindled until only 8 farms were producing cider for their own consumption in 1983.[12]

The number of orchards had been reduced to such a level that the destruction of trees in the Storm of 1987 demonstrated how close the Islands had come to losing many of its traditional cider apple varieties. A concerted effort was made to identify and preserve surviving varieties and new orchards were planted. As part of diversification, farmers have moved into commercial cider production, and the cider tradition is celebrated and marketed as a heritage experience. In Jersey, a strong (above 7%) variety is currently sold in shops and a bouché style is also marketed.[13]

In Jersey, cider is used in the preparation of black butter (Jèrriais: nièr beurre), a traditional preserve.


Cider has been made in Chile since colonial times. Southern Chile accounts for nearly all Cider production in the country. Cider is also often linked to the production of chicha, a traditional alcoholic drink that is also made of apples but is considered of less quality.


Despite a strong apple tradition, Denmark has little cider production. Six places that produce cider in Denmark are Pomona (since 2003), Fejø Cider (since 2003), Dancider (since 2004), Ørbæk Bryggeri (since 2006), Ciderprojektet (since 2008) and Svaneke Bryghus (since 2009). All are inspired mainly by English and French cider styles. The assortment of imported ciders has grown significantly since 2000, prior to that only ciders from Sweden, primarily non-alcoholic, were generally available. On March 31, 2008 Carlsberg launched an alcoholic cider in Denmark called Somersby Cider.[14]

East Asia

Cider in Japan and South Korea refers to a soft drink similar to Sprite or the UK definition of lemonade. The Chilsung Cider brand dominates the Korean market.


In Finland cider holds the position as one of the most common drinks after beer. The best-known brands are Golden Cap, Fizz and Upcider. They typically contain 4,5-4,7%vol of alcohol. Virtually all Finnish cider is produced from fermented apple (or pear) juice concentrate and comes in a variety of flavours ranging from forest berries to rhubarb and vanilla.


Cidre bouché from Normandy.

French cidre is an alcoholic drink produced predominantly in Normandy and Brittany. It varies in strength from below 4% alcohol to considerably more. Cidre Doux is a sweet cider, usually up to 3% in strength. 'Demi-Sec' is 3–5% and Cidre Brut is a strong dry cider of 5% alcohol and above. Most French ciders are sparkling. Higher quality cider is sold in champagne-style bottles (cidre bouché). Many ciders are sold in corked bottles, but some screw-top bottles exist. Until the mid-20th century, cider was the second most-consumed drink in France (after wine) but an increase in the popularity of beer displaced cider's market share outside traditional cider-producing regions. In crêperies (pancakes restaurants) in Brittany, cider is generally served in traditional ceramic bowls (or wide cups) rather than glasses. A kir breton (or kir normand) is a cocktail apéritif made with cider and cassis, rather than white wine and cassis for the traditional kir. The Domfrontais, in the Orne (Basse-Normandie), is famous for its pear cider (poiré). The calvados du Domfrontais is made of cider and poiré.

Some cider is also made in south western France, in the French part of the Basque Country. It is a traditional drink there and is making a recovery. Ciders produced here are generally of the style seen in the Spanish part of the Basque Country.

Calvados, from Normandy, is a spirit is made of cider through a process called double distillation. In the first pass, the result is a liquid containing 28%–30% alcohol. In a second pass, the amount of alcohol is augmented to about 40%.

Breton cider making employs the technique of keeving (from the French cuvée). In keeving, calcium chloride and a special enzyme are added to the pressed apple juice, causing protein in the juice to precipitate to the top for removal. This reduces the amount of protein available to the yeast, starving it and therefore causing the cider to finish fermenting while sugar is still available. The result is a sweeter drink at a lower alcohol level but still retaining the full flavour of the apples, without dilution.


German cider, usually called Apfelwein (apple wine), and regionally known as Apfelmost (apple must), Viez (from Latin vice, the second or substitute wine), or Saurer Most (sour must), has an alcohol content of 5.5%–7% and a tart, sour taste.

German cider is mainly produced and consumed in Hesse, particularly in the Frankfurt, Wetterau and Odenwald areas, in Moselfranken, Merzig (Saarland) and the Trier area, as well as the lower Saar area and the region bordering on Luxembourg and in the area along the Neckar river in Swabia. In these regions, there are several large producers, as well as numerous small, private producers often using traditional recipes. An official Viez route or cider route connects Saarburg with the border to Luxembourg.


Magners Cider

Cider is a popular drink in Ireland; for a long time cider production was officially encouraged and supported by a preferential tax treatment. A single cider, Bulmers, dominates sales in Ireland: Owned by C&C and produced in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, this Bulmers is unrelated to the British Bulmers cider. Outside the Republic of Ireland, C&C brand their cider as Magners. It is very popular in Ireland to drink cider over ice and encouraged in their advertising.


Cider was once widely produced in Northern Italy's apple growing regions, with a marked decline during fascist rule, due to the introduction of a law banning the industrial production of alcoholic beverages derived from fruits of less than 7% ABV, which was aimed at protecting wine producers.[15] Present laws and regulations are favourable to cider makers, but production has only survived in a few alpine locations, mostly in the regions of Trentino, and in Piedmont, where it is known as vin ëd pom (apple wine) or pomada, because it traditionally was left to ferment in a vat along with grape pomace, giving it a distinctive reddish colour.[16] Taxation is equal to comparable drinks and most Italians are not aware of the existence of cider, making cider an unusual and difficult to find drink in most of Italy.


In Luxembourg, viez (pronounced feetz) is rather like English scrumpy. It is cloudy and varies from non-alcoholic to very alcoholic. It is made only in autumn.


There are two types of cider (sidra) sold in Mexico. One type is a popular apple flavoured carbonated soft drink, sold under a number of soft drink brands, such as Sidral Mundet and Manzana Lift (both Coca-Cola FEMSA brands). The alcoholic sidra is a sparkling cider typically sold in champagne-style bottles. Sidra is, due to the expense of imported champagne, sometimes used as a substitute for New Year's Eve toasts in Mexico.


In The Netherlands cider is not as commonly available as in its surrounding countries. In 2007 Heineken started testing a cider brand named Jillz in a number of bars throughout the country. The beverage is promoted mainly towards female drinkers as an alternative to beer[17] . It contains 5% alcohol by volume which is similar to a typical draught beer in the Netherlands. Jillz is available on draught in bars, pubs and restaurants and is also available in most supermarkets and liquor stores.


In Norway, cider (sider) is a naturally fermented apple juice. Pear juice is sometimes mixed with the apple to get a better fermenting process started. The main area for cider production is in the proclaimed "fruit garden" or "apple orchard" of Norway, the Hardanger region.

Following lengthy navigation through the directives of Norway's complex alcohol laws, three brands of sparkling cider with an abv of approximately 10% are available to the Norwegian public through distribution by the monopoly outlet Vinmonopolet, Hardanger Sider Sprudlande from Hardanger, Krune Sider from Bergen sourcing apples from Hardanger, and Liersider from Lier.[18][19] In line with the law of 1975 prohibiting all advertising of alcoholic beverages of abv greater than 2.5%,[20] the products receive little exposure despite some favourable press reaction.[19][21]

Ciders of low alcohol levels are widely available, mostly brands imported from Sweden, although carbonated soft drinks with no alcoholic content may also be marketed as "cider".[21]


Non-alcoholic, apple-flavored carbonated drinks are popular in the country, with local brands suchs as Mehran Bottler's Apple Sidra and Murree Brewery's Bigg Apple in the market.

South Africa

There are two main types of cider produced in South Africa, Hunters Gold and Savanna Dry. They are produced and distributed through Distell Group Limited. Hunters Gold was first introduced in South Africa in 1988 as an alternative to beer. The range includes Hunters Dry and Hunters Export. Savanna Dry was introduced in 1996 and also comes in a Light Premium variety. Clarens, Free State has a micro brewery called Clarens Brewery that produces 100% natural apple cider. The taste of real apple cider differs enormously from the mass produced variety.


Asturian cider being poured in the traditional manner

The making and drinking of cider is traditional in several areas of northern Spain, mainly Asturias and the Basque country.

Cider has been popular in the Basque Country for centuries.[22] Known as sagardoa (IPA: /s̺a'gaɾdoa/), and drunk either bottled or in a cider house called sagardotegi, in which it is directly poured from a barrel. Cider tasting events are popular in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa, where stalls are set up on the street selling the drink from several producers at cheap prices and served until stock runs out.

But the largest producer of cider in Spain is the Atlantic region of Asturias, amounting to more than the 80% of the whole production of Spain. The consumption of cider in Asturias is of 54 liters per person/year, probably the highest in any European region.

The first testimony about cider in Asturies was made by Greek geographer Strabo, in the year 60 BC.

The traditional Asturiansidra, is a still cider of 4–8% strength, although there are other varieties. Traditionally, it is served in sidreríes, pubs specialzing in cider althought it is also possible to have other drinks as well as traditional food, where it is poured in very small quantities from a height into a wide glass, with the arm holding the bottle extended upwards and the one holding the glass extended downwards. This technique is called to escanciar un culín (also echar un culín) and is done to get air bubbles into the drink, thus giving it a sparkling taste like Champagne that lasts a very short time.


A glass of Rekorderlig wild berries cider

Due to Swedish law, stores in Sweden can not sell cider with less than 15 percentage juice by volume under the name Cider[23]. "Cider" with none or less than 15% juice is instead usually sold as "Apple/Pear beverage of cider character" (Swedish)"Äpple-/Pärondryck med Ciderkaraktär. There is a number of different cider brands in Sweden. Some are Rekorderlig, Xider, Kiwik Cider and Kopparberg cider. Most Swedish cider has little in common with traditional cider from other countries. Usually it is very sweet and it is very often berry or fruit flavoured, making it more like an alcoholic fruit soda.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, cider is mostly associated with the West Country, Herefordshire & Worcestershire, but is also produced in Wales and across England, particularly Kent, Suffolk and Norfolk. Cider is available in sweet, medium and dry varieties. Recent years have seen a significant increase in cider sales in the UK.[24]

Cider types in the United Kingdom

There are two broad main traditions in cider production in the UK - the West tradition and the Kent and East Anglia tradition. The former are made using a much higher percentage of true cider-apples and so are richer in tannins and sharper in flavour. Kent and East Anglia ciders tend to use a higher percentage of, or are exclusively made from, culinary and dessert fruit; Kentish ciders such as Biddenden's, Rough Old Wife and Theobolds are typical of this style. They tend to be clearer, more vinous and lighter in body and flavour.

At one end of the scale are the traditional, small farm-produced varieties. These are non-carbonated and usually cloudy orange in appearance. England's West Country contains many of these farms. Production is often on such a small scale the product is only sold at the point of manufacture or in local pubs and shops[25] At the other end of the scale are the mass production factories for products such as Strongbow and Blackthorn.

Mass produced commercial cider such as that produced by Bulmers is likely to be pasteurised and force-carbonated. The colour is likely to be golden yellow with a clear appearance from the filtration. White ciders are almost colourless in appearance.

Cheap strong ciders

A key market segment exists in the UK for strong white mass-produced cider at 7.5% alcohol by volume. Cider with higher than 7.5% alcohol has a higher rate of excise duty. Typical brands include White Lightning, Diamond White, Frosty Jack, and White Strike.

By volume of alcohol, the excise duty on cider is lower than any other drink. The duty, as of 2009, was £31.83 per 100 litres of cider of up to 7.5% alcohol. 100 litres of table wine or alcopops would attract £214.02 of duty, wine under 5.5% was charged £90.68, £123.53 for 100 litres of 7.5% beer, and £169.80 for the equivalent alcohol volume of spirits.[26]

Before 1996 brands could be labelled at up to 8.4% alcohol when they actually contained 7.4%. This happened because the duty was levied on the actual strength of the alcohol, but Trade Descriptions legislation allowed the label to overstate the alcohol content by up to 1%.[27] White Lightning was then sold in both 7.4% and 8.4% strengths, due to uncertainty about whether consumers would prefer the pricier, stronger drink, or the slightly weaker, cheap one.[28]

Until 2005, the market leading White Lightning brand was being sold on an almost continual 50% extra free promotion, giving 3 litres of 7.5% cider for a typical selling price of £2.99. Scottish Courage, which owned the brand, decided that year to restrict bottle size to 2 litres as part of its responsible drinking strategy. A spokesman for the company spoke of white cider in general, "It is the cheapest way to buy alcohol in the UK. This is pocket money these days. There is no other alcohol category that has the same challenge as white cider. One three litre plastic bottle of white cider contains almost the full recommended weekly alcohol intake for a male drinker" (225 ml, 22.5 units, of pure alcohol content compared with the recommended maximum of 28 units).[29][30] This led to a 70% drop in sales of White Lightning,[31] but increased sales of the brand owner's weaker, more profitable brands. Other manufacturers followed by increasing prices and scrapping their 3 litre bottles.

The price increases on 7.5% cider has increased sales of 5% mass-market cider, which is still widely available in 3 litre bottles in supermarkets.[31]

In 2009, health campaigners called for a legal minimum price on alcoholic drink of 50 pence per unit, which would result in a 400% increase in the price of some cheap strong ciders.[citation needed]

West of England

Cloudy, unfiltered ciders made in the West Country are often called "scrumpy", from "scrump",[32] a local dialect term for a small or withered apple. The archaic spelling cyder is sometimes used, but as a marketing ploy rather than authentic usage. Ciders from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire made from traditional recipes forms a European Union Protected Geographical Indication. Examples of a working cider house still existed there in recent times, though many have now gone. There are over 25 cider producers in Somerset alone, many of them small family businesses.[5]

During the 17th and 18th centuries, a condition known as Devon colic, a form of lead poisoning, was associated with the consumption of cider, vanishing after a campaign to remove lead components from cider presses in the early 19th century.

Shepton Mallet, Somerset, is home to the largest cider plant in Europe. This plant produces Blackthorn and Olde English as well as light perry Babycham.


Smallhold production of cider, made on farms as a beverage for labourers, died out in Wales during the 20th century. Cider and perry production in Wales began a dramatic revival in the early 2000s, with many small firms entering production throughout the country. The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has actively encouraged this trend, and Welsh ciders and perries have won many awards at CAMRA festivals; meanwhile, the establishment of groups such as UKCider and the Welsh Perry & Cider Society have spurred communication among producers.

Welsh varieties of apples and pears are often distinct from those grown in England, giving cider from Wales a flavour noticeably different to ciders from nearby regions.

Definition of "real" cider

CAMRA defines "real" cider as a product containing at least 90% fresh apple juice, with no added flavourings or colourings. CAMRA appears to endorse chaptalisation of the juice (added sugar prior to fermentation) plus dilution with water afterwards.[33]

UKCider defines "real" cider as a product containing at least 85% fresh apple juice, with no artificial flavourings or colourings. UKCider campaigns for the percentage juice content to be listed as part of a full ingredients labelling.[34]

United States

During colonial times apple cider was consumed as the main beverage with meals because water was often unsafe for drinking. Ciderkin, a slightly alcoholic beverage made from cider pomace, could also be found on colonial tables.

Sometime after Prohibition the word cider came to mean unfiltered, unfermented apple juice. For instance, in Pennsylvania, apple cider is legally defined as an "amber golden, opaque, unfermented, entirely non-alcoholic juice squeezed from apples".[citation needed] Imitation "cider" products may contain natural or artificial flavours or colours generally recognized as safe, provided their presence is declared on the label by the use of the word "imitation" in type at least one-half the size of the type used to declare the flavour. Cider containing more than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume is classified as hard cider.

Cider may also refer to sparkling apple juice, which is often filtered, such as Martinelli's sparkling apple cider, once touted specifically as "non-alcoholic cider". Martinelli's is sold as "cider" or "juice" depending on regional usage.

Alcoholic cider is produced throughout the United States, especially in New England, Michigan, upstate New York and the West Coast. Woodchuck cider, from Vermont, and Julian Hard Cider from California are two of the most common brands in the US and are made in the traditional way. Some U.S. products which describe themselves as Hard Cider are made by adding flavourless spirit alcohol to apple juice pressed from apples which are juice apples not cider apples.

Smaller cider breweries are becoming more common as well, some producing varieties of hard cider reminiscent of English ciders.

See also


  1. ^ "National Association of Cider Makers". Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  2. ^ "Bulmers to take on Magners in a cider decider". The Guardian. 2006-06-26.,,1771479,00.html. Retrieved 2006-06-20. 
  3. ^ "Interesting Facts". National Association of Cider Makers. Retrieved 24 February 2009. 
  4. ^ Huddleston, Nigel (2008-04-24). "Pear Perception". Morning Advertiser. Retrieved 01/05/2009. 
  5. ^ a b James Crowden. "Somerset Cider". Somerset County Council. Retrieved 2006-06-20. , a Orcharding year, b Somerset cider producers
  6. ^ "History of cider". W3commerce. 2000. Retrieved 2006-06-20. 
  7. ^ Mangas, J. J.; Rodríguez, R.; Suárez, B.; Picinelli, A. & Dapena, E. (October 1999). "Study of the phenolic profile of cider apple cultivars at maturity by multivariate techniques.". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 10 (47): 4046–4052. doi:10.1021/jf9903197. PMID 10552763. 
  8. ^ "The Great British Kitchen". Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  9. ^ Syvret , Marguerite; Stevens, Joan (April 2001). Balleine's History of Jersey. Phillimore & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-86077-065-7. 
  10. ^ Cider-making, An Old-time Guernsey industry. Priaulx, Guernsey, nd
  11. ^ The Triumph of the Country, Kelleher, Jersey 1994, ISBN 0-9518162-4-1
  12. ^ Jersey Society in London, Bulletin, 1983
  13. ^ Jersey Evening Post, 22 July 2006
  14. ^ Very ApS | Somersby Cider byder foråret velkommen! -
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Hofseth, Arne, Bergens Tidende (2006-05-29). "Sprudlande Hardanger i stettglas" (in Norwegian). 
  19. ^ a b Jacobsen, Aase E., VG (2006-05-29). "Brusende nasjonalfølelse" (in Norwegian). 
  20. ^ Stortinget. "Alkoholloven" (in Norwegian). 
  21. ^ a b Ørjasæter, Lars Ola, Aperitif (2005-04-20). "Nødvendig opprydding" (in Norwegian). 
  22. ^ Aymeric Picaud, Codex Calixtinus, c.1134
  23. ^ Livsmedelsverkets författningssamling LIVSFS 2005:11 (H 161), (2009-10-21) (in Swedish).
  24. ^ Matthew Goodman (2006-08-06). "Magners leads the great cider revival". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  25. ^ "Fare of the country; England's Realm Of Cider With a Kick". The New York Times. 1989-04-02. Retrieved 2006-06-20. 
  26. ^ "Alcohol Duty Rates". HMRC. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  27. ^ "Clauses 3,4&5 : Introduces a sparkling cider and perry definition and sets a duty rate". 1996 Budget. HM Treasury. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  28. ^ "Bulmer beats cider tax". The Independent. July 18, 1996. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  29. ^ "Drink firm axes 'supersize' cider". BBC News. 12 September 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  30. ^ "SCB strikes Lightning off 'extra free' circuit". Talking Retail website. 22 October 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  31. ^ a b "SCB puts own-label cider in its sights". Talking Retail website. 22 October 2005. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  32. ^ "Scrumptious Somerset". The Great British Kitchen. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  33. ^ "About Cider and Perry". Campaign for Real Ale. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  34. ^ "Real Cider and Perry". UKCider. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
General references
  • Household Cyclopedia, 1881
  • Farmhouse Cider & Scrumpy, Bob Bunker 1999
  • Richard A. Fletcher, 1984. Saint James' Catapult: The Life and Times of Diego Gelmírez of Santiago de Compostela (Oxford University Press)

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CIDER, or Cyder (from the Fr. cidre, derived from the Lat. sicera or cisera, Gr. veicepa, Heb. shekar, strong drink), an alcoholic beverage made from apples.

Cider and perry (the corresponding beverage made from pears) are liquors containing from as little as 2% of alcohol to 7 or 8%, seldom more, and rarely as much, produced by the vinous fermentation of the expressed juice of apples and pears; but cider and perry of prime quality can only be obtained from vintage fruit, that is, apples and pears grown for the purpose and unsuited for the most part for table use. A few table apples make good cider, but the best perry is only to be procured from pears too harsh and astringent for consumption in any other form. The making of perry is in England confined, in the main, to the counties of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester. These three counties, together with Somerset and Devon, constitute, too, the principal cider-making district of the country; but the industry, which was once more widely spread, still survives in Norfolk, and has lately been revived in Kent, though, in both these counties, much of the fruit used in cider-making is imported from the west country and some from the continent. Speaking generally, the cider of Herefordshire is distinguished for its lightness and briskness, that of Somerset for its strength, and that of Devonshire for its lusciousness.

Cider used to be made in the south of Ireland, but the industry had almost become extinct until revived by the Department of Agriculture, which in 1904 erected a cider-making plant at Drogheda, Co. Louth, gave assistance to private firms at Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, and Fermoy, Co. Cork, and provided a travelling mill and press to work in the South Riding of Co. Tipperary. The results have been highly satisfactory, a large quantity of good cider having been produced.

Inasmuch as English orchards are crowded with innumerable varieties of cider apples, many of them worthless, a committee composed of members of the Herefordshire Fruit-Growers' Association and of the Fruit and Chrysanthemum Society was appointed in 1899 to make a selection of vintage apples and pears best suited to Herefordshire and the districts adjoining. The following is the list drawn up by the committee: A pples. - Old Foxwhelp, Cherry Pearmain, Cowarne Red, Dymock Red, Eggleton Styre, Kingston Black or Black Taunton, Skyrme's Kernel, Spreading Redstreak, Carrion apple, Cherry Norman, Cummy Norman, Royal Wilding, Handsome Norman, Strawberry Norman, White Bache or Norman, Broad-leaved Norman, Argile Grise, Bramtot, De Boutville, Frequin Audievre, Medaille d'Or, the last five being French sorts introduced from Normandy about 1880, and now established in the orchards of Herefordshire.


Taynton Squash, Barland, Oldfield, Moorcroft or Malvern Hill, Red-pear, Thurston's Red, Longland, Pine pear.

No equally authoritative selection has been made for the Somerset and Devon districts, but the following varieties of cider apples are held in good repute in those parts: - Kingston Black, Jersey Chisel, Hangdowns, Fair Maid of Devon, Woodbine, Duck's Bill, Slack-my-Girdle, Bottle Stopper, Golden Ball, Sugar-loaf, Red Cluster, Royal Somerset and Cadbury (believed to be identical with the Royal Wilding of Herefordshire). As a rule the best cider apples are of small size. "Petites pommes, gros cidre," say the French.

Cider and perry not being taxable liquors in England, it is impossible to estimate with even an approach to accuracy the amount of the annual production of them. In 1896 Mr Sampson, the then secretary of the National Association of English Cidermakers, in his evidence before the royal commission on agriculture, put it at 551 million gallons. Since that date the increased demand for these native wines has given such an impetus to the industry that this figure might with safety be doubled. In France official statistics are available, and these show not only that that country is the largest producer of cider (including perry) in the world, but that the output is yearly increasing. A great proportion, however, of what passes as cider in France is boisson, i.e. cider to which water has been added in the process of making or at a subsequent stage; while much of the perry is disposed of to the makers of champagne. Although some cider is made in sixty-five departments, by far the largest amount comes from the provinces of Normandy and Brittany. In Germany cidermaking is a considerable and growing industry. Manufactories on a small scale exist in north Germany, as at Guben and Granberg, but the centre of the industry is at Frankfort-on-Main, Sachsenhausen and the neighbourhood, where there are five large and twenty-five small factories employing upwards of loon hands. Large quantities of cider fruit are imported from foreign countries, as, speaking generally, the native-grown fruit used in Germany for cider-making consists of inferior and undersized table apples not worth marketing. The bottled cider for export is treated much like champagne, and is usually fortified and flavoured until, in the words of an acknowledged French authority, M. Truelle, it becomes a hybrid between cider and white wine rather than pure cider.

The practice which formerly prevailed in England of making cider on the farm from the produce of the home orchards has within the last few years been to a large extent given up, and, as in Germany and many parts of France, farmers now sell their fruit to owners of factories where the making of cider and perry is carried on as a business of itself. In these hand or horse power is superseded by steam and sometimes by electricity, as in the factory of E. Seigel in Griinberg, and the old-fashioned appliances of the farm by modern mills and presses capable of turning out large quantities of liquor. The clearing of the juice, too, which used to be effected by running it through bags, is in the factories accomplished more quickly by forcing it through layers of compressed cotton in a machine of German origin known as Lumley's filter. The actual process of cider and perry making is simple, and resembles that of making grape wine. The fruit is ground or crushed in machines of various construction, the latest and most powerful being of American origin. The resulting pomace is pressed for the extraction of the juice, which is then run into vats, where it undergoes fermentation, which, converting the saccharine ingredients into alcohol and carbonic acid gas, turns it into cider. Cider made from a judicious mixture of several varieties of apples is to be preferred to cider made from one variety only, inasmuch as it is less difficult to find the requisite degrees of richness, astringency and flavour in several varieties than in one; but the contrary is the case with pears, of which the most noted sorts, such as the Barland, the Taynton Squash and the Oldfield, produce the best perry when unmixed with other varieties. Some fining of an albuminous nature is generally requisite in order to clear the juice and facilitate its passage through the filter, but the less used the better. The simplest and cleanest is skim milk whipped to a froth and blended gradually with the cider as it is pumped into the mixing vat. Many nostrums are sold for the clearing of cider, but none is necessary and most are harmful.

Of late years the practice has largely obtained of using preservatives for the purpose of checking fermentation. The principal preservatives employed are salicylic and boracic acids and formalin. The two former are ineffective except in quantities likely to prove hurtful to health, while formalin, in itself a. powerful and deleterious drug, though it stops fermentation, renders the liquor cloudy and undrinkable. Other foreign ingredients, such as saccharin and porcherine, both coal-tar derivatives - the latter a recent discovery of a French chemist, after whom it is named - are used by many makers, chiefly for the purpose of rendering bad and therefore unwholesome cider palatable and saleable. Provided that cider and perry be properly filtered, and attention paid to perfect cleanliness of vessels and appliances, there is no need of preservatives or sweeteners, and their use ought to be forbidden by law in England, as it is in most continental states in the case of liquors to be consumed within their borders, though not, it is significant to note, in the case of liquors intended for exportation.

The wholesome properties of cider and perry when pure and unadulterated have been recognized by medical men, who recommend them as pleasant and efficacious remedies in affections of a gouty or rheumatic nature, maladies which, strange to say, these very liquors were once supposed to foster, if not actually to originate. Under a similar false impression the notion is general that hard rough cider is apt to cause diarrhoea, colic and kindred complaints, whereas, as a fact, disorders of this kind are conspicuous by their absence in those parts of the country where rough cider and perry constitute the staple drinks of the working-classes. This is especially the case in Herefordshire, which is said also to be the only county in England whence no instance of the occurrence of Asiatic cholera has ever been reported.

The importance which the cider industry has of late attained in England has been marked by the establishment of the National Fruit and Cider Institute at Long Ashton near Bristol. This institute, founded in 1903 at the instance of the Board of Agriculture, is supported by grants from the board, the Bath and West of England Society, the councils of the cider-producing counties of Hereford, Gloucester, Worcester, Monmouth, Devon and Somerset, and by subscription of members. The objects of the institute are the promotion of research into the causes of the changes which occur in cider and perry during fermentation, with the view of imparting to these liquors a degree of exactitude hitherto unattainable; the adoption from time to time of improved machinery and methods in cider-making; the detection of adulteration; the giving of instruction in the principles and practice of cider-making; the publication of reports detailing the results of the researches undertaken at the institute; the testing and selection of the sorts of fruit best suited for vintage purposes; the propagation of useful varieties likely from neglect to go out of cultivation; and the conducting of experiments in regard to the best systems of planting and protecting young fruit trees.

Fruit-growers who look to cider-making "as a means of utilizing windfalls and small and inferior apples of cooking and dessert varieties not worth sending to market" should be warned that it is as important to the cider industry that good cider only should be on sale as it is to the fruit-growing industry that good fruit only should be sent to market. The juice of the apple is naturally affected by the condition of the fruit itself, and if this be unripe, unsound or worm-eaten the cider made from it will be inferior to that made from full-grown, ripe and sound fruit. If such fruit be not good enough to send to market, neither will the cider made from it be good enough to place before the public. Nevertheless, it may furnish a sufficiently palatable drink for home consumption, and may therefore be so utilized. But when, as happens from time to time in fruit-growing districts, there is a glut, and even the best table fruit is not saleable at a profit, then, indeed, cider-making is a means of storing in a liquid form what would otherwise be left to rot on the ground; whilst if a proportion of vintage fruit were mixed therewith, a drink would be produced which would not discredit the cider trade, and would bring a fair return to the maker. (C. W. R. C.)

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Simple English

Cider (or cyder) is a drink made from fruit juice, most often from apples.

In Europe and Oceania it is an alcoholic drink that is made from apple juice, through a process called fermentation. In the United States and parts of Canada, cider containing alcohol is called hard cider or alcoholic cider, while cider or apple cider means less-sweet, usually unfiltered, apple juice.

In the United States and Canada people drink a special kind of cider around Halloween and Thanksgiving. This cider is usually unfiltered, rather thick, and it is often heated and spiced with cinnamon before drinking it. This is different from the cider in Europe, which usually is not heated.


How cider is made

American Cider

Usually to make cider, apples with a high concentration of tannins are chosen. The fermentation of the apples takes place at around 4-15° Celsius. The temperature influences the duration of the fermentation. The temperature at which the fermentation occurs also has an effect on the taste of the cider.

Shortly before all the sugar has been fermented away, the cider is put in a new barrel which is made air-tight. The rest of the sugar will then become carbonic acid. This will also add to the life-span of the cider (no pasteurisation is needed).

Cider is also the starting-point for distilling Calvados. This alcoholic drink is famous and very expensive.

Where cider is made

Cider is made almost anywhere where there are cider-apple trees, most notably

In France, Normandy is the first region as to the production of cider-apples (300 000 tonnes), and the first in cider production (7000 kilolitres).

In France, some ciders can benefit from a protected naming. This is the cidre normand and the cidre breton.

France is the country in the world that produces the biggest quantity of cider.

The United Kingdom produces the most varieties, and along with Ireland holds the biggest market for cider.

Kinds of cider

Hard cider contains alcohol, which affects the taste of the cider. This can be influenced by choosing the right moment when to stop fermentation:

  • With 3° of alcohol and below, the cider will be sweet, similar to apple juice. In France they call this cidre doux, and use it to go with desserts.
  • Between 3° and 5° of alcohol, you get a cider that can accompany a meal of fish or meat. The French call this cider cidre demi-sec or cidre brut (classique).
  • Traditional cider (hard cider) usually has 5° alcohol or more.
  • Calvados is made of cider through a process called double distillation. In the first pass, the result is a liquid containing 28% to 30% alcohol. In a second pass, the amount of alcohol is augmented to about 40%.

In France, the most popular are the first, second and fourth categories. In the English-speaking countries, it is possible to find cider with up to 12° of alcohol.

When to drink cider

[[File:|thumb|"Pint of cider"]] The French and Spanish cuisines have recipes where cider is needed to make them. The French and Spanish also often drink cider instead of wine made from grapes.

In Europe, many young people drink cider. Cider costs less than wine, and is often served in pubs and other places where young people go.

The effects of cider are the same as those of any alcoholic drink.


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