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Made from fermented apple juice, ciders are a refreshing alternative to beer

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What is a hard cider?


If it feels like everyone is drinking hard cider these days, it’s probably because they are. The popularity of alcoholic ciders is skyrocketing − but turns out − hard ciders are far from a new thing. They may actually be older than beer! The first reports of people intentionally fermenting cider for drinking dates back to 55 B.C., but chances are, plenty of people drank cider from fermented apples off of the ground well before that.

Today’s hard ciders are exactly what they sound like – a grown-up take on a childhood classic. Brewers take juice, typically from apples or pears, and ferment it. This creates the alcohol content. A little fancy marketing work and an old classic is suddenly the hot new thing, and you can even buy ciders online!


Types of hard cider


Fun fact? The apples used to create hard cider are not your ordinary lunchbox apple. They’re actually almost inedible. That’s because these apples are chosen for their tannin, acid, and sugar levels – not their flavor. Within the cider world, however, you’ll typically find two factions.

European ciders focus on a dry flavor, usually higher in tannins. The result is an Earthy flavor that holds up well with rich meats. They have lower sugar concentration, making them have a richer flavor palate.

American ciders, by contrast, are not nearly as complex and can be accused of lacking in depth. They are, however, sweeter to the tongue, making them a fine choice for enjoyment sans-food. Higher in sugar content and generally a more laid back flavor, these ciders are perfect for poolside sipping.


Mixing cider in cocktails


While ciders are delicious on their own, they’re also a common component of mixed drinks. Particularly perfect for fall, adding a cider to a mixed cocktail gives it a hint of fruit while also kicking up the total alcohol content of the mixed spirit. It’s another easy reason to buy cider online and keep it stocked in your home bar. Use hard ciders in bourbon, sangria, and even with heated rum for the perfect fall flavor.

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