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What is cider ?

There are two meanings of the word cider (or cidre) :

  • Cider in Europe is a fermented (alcoholic) apple juice.
  • Cider in the US is non-alcoholic apple juice.

In Europe cider is made from special cider apples. You cannot eat a cider apple, or cook with it. It's sole purpose is to make cider. The key elements of the cider apple are the right balance of sugars, acids and tannins, which in turn create the special flavours of a traditional cider. The cider maker refers to them as: bittersweets, bittersharps or sharps, depending on the juice analysis.

For making cider apples are selected, washed and pressed. Yeast and sugar are added to the juice to start the fermentation. Malic acid is often added to establish the right balance in flavours. At the end of fermentation the cider is 'racked' - moved to another vat - for a lengthy period of maturation, which will give the cider its full bodied flavour. Filtration follows to give the product its bright, fresh appearance (non filtered ciders are also available in some countries/regions). Finally, ciders are blended to create the desired flavour characteristics. Cider does not mature with age, so enjoy it sooner rather than later! Serve chilled to enhance the taste. The alcohol percentage ranges from 3-10%.

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