We've all heard of alcoholic and non-alcoholic ciders, but do you know what they actually taste like? This post will explain the basics of cider and the different types you can choose.
We'll cover the common flavors of cider, as well as how to mix them with other ingredients to create curious tastes. No matter your palate, you're sure to find a cider you love!
How I Would Describe the Taste of Cider
Cider is an alcoholic drink made from pressing apples, which gives it its characteristic sweet, fruity flavor. It can range from sweet to semi-dry, depending on the variety of apple used and its specific fermentation process.
Cider is typically light and refreshing, and often has undertones of caramel and toffee. Many people also detect hints of spices such as cinnamon and ginger in their cider, adding to its depth of flavor.
Some ciders can even have a slight bubble or effervescence to them, depending on their level of carbonation. If you're looking for a drink that offers an apple-sweet flavor with an underlying light spiciness, then cider is an exceptional choice for you.
Why Do People Like Cider?
Cider is an incredibly popular beverage that has been enjoyed for centuries. It's typically made from apples that have been pressed, fermented and then either served or bottled. Many people find the crisp and tart taste of cider to be extremely refreshing, as it's not overly sweet or strong. Ciders are often bubbly due to the fermentation process, adding to the unique and enjoyable taste.
Cider can also be flavored with different fruits and spices, meaning that there is something to suit every taste. What's more, ciders range in alcohol content, so you can have a light and sessionable drink or something more potent depending on what you're looking for. This range of options makes cider a favorite amongst many different types of people, as it can be enjoyed in both social and casual settings.
Who Might Not Like Cider?
Most people enjoy the taste of cider, although there are certain people who might not care for it. Cider typically has a sweet, fruity flavor with a bit of tartness.
The sweetness and tartness can be a bit much for some people, making the cider unappealing. There are also certain styles of cider, like those with added spices or herbs, that can be overwhelmingly intense and too heavy for light cider drinkers. People with a preference for more malty beers and wines might also find cider to be overly sweet and tart.
Are There Different Kinds of Cider?
Yes, there are many different types of cider. These include dry, sweet, sparkling, still, and flavored ciders.
Dry ciders are typically more tart and have a higher alcohol content than sweet ciders. Sparkling ciders are carbonated and have a bubbly texture. Still ciders are not carbonated and have a smoother texture. Flavored ciders are made with (you guessed it) added flavors such as fruits, spices, and herbs.
Dry cider is a type of cider that is characterized by a complete lack of sweetness. It is made with a specific blend of ingredients, which ensures an austere, almost tart taste on the palate.
Unlike most sweet cider varieties, dry cider doesn't have a lot of added sugar or honey. As a result, the flavors highlighted in the cider tend to be more subtle and complex. Dry cider can have notes of hay, wood, herbs, bread, apples, tart citrus, and other fruit flavors.
Sweet cider is a type of non-alcoholic apple cider that has been sweetened with sugar or another sweetener. It's mild and refreshing, and has a slightly sweet, fruity flavor. It is a popular beverage choice for people of all ages.
Sparkling cider is a non-alcoholic carbonated beverage similar to carbonated apple juice. I would say it has a characteristic tart, yeasty flavor and a light apple aroma. The flavor is sharp and tangy and can be slightly sweet or dry depending on the brand.
Still Cider is a traditionally-crafted English cider. It's made from hand-selected culinary apples and slowly fermented for over 6 months, then slowly matured in 100-year-old oak barrels for a further 12 months.
Unlike many other ciders, it has no added carbonation. This gives Still Cider a bold and complex taste—sweet, yet tangy and earthy with a hint of bitterness.
Flavored cider is a type of hard cider that has been mixed with flavored syrups or juices to create a unique taste. It is typically a bit sweeter than regular cider due to the added flavors, and can range in taste depending on what flavors have been added. Popular flavors include raspberry, strawberry, and pear, creating a tart and fruity taste.
And of course, beyond just apple cider, you also get pear cider (or perry) which can itself be used as the main base for other flavored ciders. Pear cider typically has a slightly sweeter and less tart flavor than apple cider.
How Is Cider Usually Served?
Cider is most often served cold to preserve its crisp and tart flavor. Many ciders are sold cold in bottles or cans, making them an easy choice for drinking on hot summer days. Cider can also be served at room temperature in mugs or glasses.
The taste of cider varies depending on the type and variety, but it generally has a tart, fruity flavor. Sweet ciders generally have a strong apple flavor and aroma, while dry ciders might have an earthy or spicy tone to the mouthfeel. Most ciders are carbonated, so expect a fizzy sensation with each sip. Cider can be enjoyed alone or with foods like cheese, charcuterie, or sweet desserts.
What Are the Most Popular Cider Brands?
There are many popular brands of cider, which vary depending on the region or country. Some of the most well-known brands of cider I've come across include:
- Strongbow: Strongbow is a brand of cider produced by Heineken International. It is one of the best-selling cider brands in the world and is available in a variety of flavors including Original Dry, Honey, and Red Berries.
- Bulmers: Bulmers is a brand of cider produced by the C&C Group. It is popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland and is available in a range of flavors, including Original, Pear, and Cherry.
- Magners: Magners is a brand of cider produced by the C&C Group. It is popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland and is available in a range of flavors, including Original, Pear, and Berry.
- Woodchuck: Woodchuck is a brand of cider produced by Vermont Cider Company. It is popular in the United States and is available in a range of flavors, including Original, Granny Smith, and Amber.
- Angry Orchard: Angry Orchard is a brand of cider produced by the Boston Beer Company. It is popular in the United States and is available in a range of flavors, including Crisp Apple, Green Apple, and Rosé.
- Kopparberg: Kopparberg is a brand of cider produced by Kopparbergs Bryggeri AB. It is popular in Sweden and is available in a range of flavors, including Original, Pear, and Mixed Fruit.
- Rekorderlig: Rekorderlig is a brand of cider produced by V&S Group. It is popular in Sweden and is available in a range of flavors, including Original, Mango & Raspberry, and Wild Berries.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, cider can range from being sweet to sour, depending on the type and method of manufacturing it. Despite these varied flavors, cider can generally be described as being fruity and slightly acidic.
Different ciders contain fruits such as apples, pears, blackberries, and other fruit juices. The natural fermentation process of these fruits gives cider its distinct flavor. Whether it is sweet or sour, the next time you try cider, you are sure to enjoy its unique and refreshing taste.