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The differences between apple cider and juice

We take a look at what makes apple cider and apple juice different.

One of the great Fall harvest crops is the apple. Some orchards harvest as soon as July but many pick the fruit from September to November. Many orchards press their apples to make apple cider and apple juice. Ever wonder what the difference is between apple cider and juice?


When apples are cut and pressed to extract the juice, many small pieces of apples (solids). These solids offer a bit more health benefits that juice. Cider also possesses a darker color.

Soft cider contains no alcohol. Hard cider contains alcohol due to the cider being allowed to ferment. Hard cider contains more calories due to the alcohol.


Take apple cider and remove the solids. You then get apple juice. Juice also goes through a pasteurization process. This leads to a longer shelf life and a more clear beverage.

Apple juice tends to be a bit lighter in color.

Some juices contain added sugar.

Some juice makers don’t recognize a difference. Martinelli’s makes apple juice. They call it cider. They admit on their website that “consumers simply prefer the traditional name for apple juice.” Some manufacturers will label soft cider as juice.

One of the best descriptions of cider vs. juice comes from Ned Flanders of The Simpsons… “If it’s clear and yella’, you juice there fella. If it’s tangy and brown, you’re in cider town.”

Related Topic: See how one orchard uses apple cider to make donuts!

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