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In the US and some parts of Canada, "cider" refers to unfiltered apple juice, traditionally made with a distinct sweet-tart taste. "Hard cider" is used for the fermented beverage.
The juice of any variety of apple can be used in cider making, but cider apples are best.The addition of sugar or extra fruit before a second fermentation increases the alcoholic content of the resulting beverage.
Cider is popular in the United Kingdom, especially in South West England, and widely available. The UK has the highest per capita consumption, as well as the largest cider-producing companies in the world. It is also popular in other European countries including Ireland, France (in particular Brittany and Normandy) and northern Spain and the Basque Country. Central Europe also has it own types of cider with Germans in Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse drinking a particularly tart version known as Apfelwein.
- 1 Appearance and types
- 2 Production
- 3 Festivals
- 4 Uses and Variations
- 5 Related drinks
- 6 National Varieties
- 7 South America
- 8 Asia
- 9 Africa
- 10 Southwest Pacific
- 11 North America
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
Appearance and types
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The flavour of cider varies. Ciders can be classified from dry to sweet. Their appearance ranges from cloudy with sediment to completely clear, and their colour ranges from almost clear to amber 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 need for filtration. Both sparkling and still ciders are made; the sparkling variety is the more common.
Modern, mass-produced ciders closely resemble sparkling wine in appearance. More traditional brands tend to be darker and cloudier. They are often stronger than the mass-produced varieties and taste more strongly of apples. Almost colourless, White Cider has the same apple juice content as conventional cider but is harder to create because the cider maker has to blend various apples to create a clearer liquid. White Ciders tend to be sweeter and more refreshing. They are typically 7-8% abv in strength. Black Cider, by contrast, describes dry amber premium cider which has an abv of 7-8%. The descriptor Black usually comes after the brand name such as Union Black and Barnstormer Black.
Scratting and pressing
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 apples 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 minimize 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, discarded or used to make liqueurs.
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.
The cider is ready to drink after a three-month fermentation period, though more often it is matured in the vats for up to three years.
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.
The western British tradition of wassailing the apple trees and making an offering of cider and bread in Autumn to protect the fertility of the orchard appears to be a relatively ancient tradition, superficially dating back to the pre-Christian Early Medieval period. The autumn tradition of 'bobbing' for apples is due to the abundance of fruit at this time. A modern cider festival is an organized event that promotes cider and (usually) perry. A variety of ciders and perries will be available for tasting and buying. Such festivals may be organized by pubs, cider producers, or cider-promoting private organizations.
Uses and Variations
Calvados and applejack are distilled from cider. Calvados is made throughout Normandy, France, not just in the Calvados département. It is made from cider by double distillation. In the first pass, the result is a liquid containing 28–30% alcohol. After the second pass, the concentration of alcohol is 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 byproducts, may reach harmful concentrations. These toxins can be separated when regular heat distillation is performed. Home production of applejack is illegal in most countries, though occasionally still done clandestinely in remote areas.
A few producers in Quebec and England, inspired by ice wine, have developed ice cider (French: cidre de glace). For this product, the apples are frozen either before or after being harvested. Its alcohol concentration is 9–13% ABV.
A popular apéritif 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).
Other fruits can be used to make cider-like drinks. The most popular is made from fermented pear juice, known as perry. It is called poiré in France, and produced mostly in Lower Normandy there. 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.
Before the development of rapid long distance transportation, regions of cider consumption generally coincided with those of cider production. As such, cider was said to be more common than wine in 12th-century Galicia and certainly the idea of it was present in England the Conquest of 1066, using crab apples: the word "Wassail" is derived from a Saxon phrase, wæs hæl": it is what would have been said by Saxons as a toast at Yuletide. Southern Italy, by contrast, though indeed possessing apples, had no tradition for cider apples at all and like its other neighbours on the Mediterranean Sea preserved the Roman tradition of apples as an ingredient for desserts, as evidenced by the frescoes at Herculaneum and Pompeii, descriptions by Classical writers and playwrights, and Apicius, whose famous cookbook does not contain a single recipe for fermenting apples but rather includes them as part of main courses, especially accompanying pork.
In Austria cider is made in the south west of Lower Austria, the so-called "Mostviertel" and in Upper Austria as well as in parts of Styria. Almost every farmer there has some apple or pear trees. Many farmers also have a kind of inn called a "Mostheuriger", similar to a heuriger for new wine, where they serve cider and traditional fare. Cider is typically called "Most".
Cidrerie Ruwet SA, established in 1898, is the only independent craft cider producer in Belgium. In addition to their own brand Ruwet, the company produces 'high-end' ciders for private labels. Heineken owns the other Belgian 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. Stella Artois Cidre is produced in Zonhoven and has been marketed since 2011.
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. The leading cider on the Danish market is made by CULT A/S. In 2008, Carlsberg launched an alcoholic cider in Denmark called Somersby Cider which has an alcohol content of 4.7%, and a sweet taste.
The best-known brands labelled as cider 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 mixed with water and is not Cider as per the traditional description of the drink. It typically comes in a variety of flavours ranging from forest berry to rhubarb and vanilla.
France was one of the countries that inherited both a knowledge of apple cultivation from the Celtic Gauls and the later Romans, who ruled the country for approximately 500 years: both had knowledge of grafting and keeping apples. The earliest mentions of cider in this country go back to the Greek geographer Strabo: he speaks of the profusion of apple trees in Gaul and describes a cider-like drink. In the 9th century, Charlemagne, in the Capitulars, ordered skilled brewers (the Sicetores) to always be present on his estates to make him ale, "pommé" (pomacium), perry and all the liquors liable to be used as drinks, and also ordered an expansion of planting apple trees in what is now Northern France.
French cidre (French pronunciation: [sidʁ]) 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 4.5% 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. In crêperies (crêpe 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, and Lambig from Brittany are a spirits 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%.
German cider, usually called Apfelwein (apple wine), and regionally known as Ebbelwoi, 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 Hessen, 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, several large producers, as well as numerous small, private producers, often use traditional recipes. An official Viez route or cider route connects Saarburg with the border to Luxembourg.
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, County Tipperary, this Bulmers has a connected history to the British Bulmers cider brand up until 1949. 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. Cidona, essentially a non-alcoholic version of Bulmers, is a popular soft drink in Ireland, and used to be a C&C-owned brand.
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. 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.
In The Netherlands cider is not as commonly available as in its surrounding countries. In 2007 Heineken started testing a cider-based drink branded Jillz in a number of bars throughout the country. The beverage, an alcopop made by blending sparkling water, fruit flavoring, malt and cider, is marketed towards female drinkers as an alternative to beer. At the same time, Heineken also introduced Strongbow Gold as a secondary brand to provide the choice of a real cider, which was targeted to a male audience. Both beverages contain 5% alcohol by volume, which is similar to a typical draught beer in the Netherlands. Other brands are available in supermarkets, most noticeably Magners and Savanna Dry, and in liquor stores generally a broader range may be obtained.
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, Krunesider from Bergen sourcing apples from Hardanger, and Liersider from Lier. In line with the law of 1975 prohibiting all advertising of alcoholic beverages of abv greater than 2.5%, the products receive little exposure despite some favourable press reaction.
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".
As in Italy, cider was once very popular in Northern Portugal  where its production was larger than wine production until the 11th century, but nowadays its popularity has decreased and it is only consumed in the coasts of Minho, Âncora e Lima, where it is used as a refreshment for thirst. In some festivities it is still used rather than wine.
Poland is the largest producer of apples in Europe. Cider is known in Poland as Cydr or Jabłecznik. The category is however just gaining popularity among consumers. Areas strong in Cider production are focused around the center of the country in the Masovian and Łódź voivoideships.  Large quantities of Polish apple concentrate are exported to UK, Scandinavia and Ireland for cider production.
Unfortunately, a huge part of Polish cider production is of low quality - many producers use concentrated apple juice instead of freshly pressed juice, which negatively affects the taste. What is more, as Polish consumers are used to sweet beverages, it is quite uncommon to find any variety of Polish dry cider. It may be expected, however, that these tendencies will change due to increasing popularity among consumers. 
Most of these brands can be found in major supermarket chains, like Tesco, Alma, Auchan and Intermarche.
The largest producer of cider in Spain is the Atlantic region of Asturias, where cider is considered not only a beverage but an intrinsic part of its culture and folklore. Asturias amounts more than 80% of the whole production of Spain. The consumption of cider in Asturias is of 54 litres per person/year, probably the highest in any European region. One of the most popular ciders in Spain is called "El Gaitero" (the bagpipe player) which can be found everywhere in Spain and which is produced in this region. However, it must not be confused with the traditional Asturian cider as it is a sparkling cider more in the way of French ciders. It is a factory produced cider, sweet and very foamy, much like lambrusco, different from the more artisan and traditional cider productions. Recently, new apple tree plantations have been started in grounds belonging to the old coal mines, once important in Asturias.
The first testimony about cider in Asturies was made by Greek geographer Strabo in 60 BC.
The traditional Asturian sidra is a still cider of 4–8% strength, although there are other varieties. Traditionally, it is served in sidrerías and chigres, pubs specializing in cider where it is also possible to have other drinks as well as traditional food. One of the most outstanding characteristics is that 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 escanciar un culín (also echar un culín) and is done to get air bubbles into the drink (espalmar), thus giving it a sparkling taste like Champagne that lasts a very short time. Cider is also poured from barrels in the traditional Espichas.
Cider has also been popular in the Basque Country for centuries. Whilst Txakoli and Rioja wines became more popular in Biscay, Álava and Navarre during the 19th century, there is still a strong Basque cider culture in Gipuzkoa. From the 1980s, government and gastronomic associations have worked to revive this culture in all Basque regions. Known as sagardoa (IPA: /s̺a'gaɾdoa/), it is drunk either bottled or in a cider house (called a sagardotegi), where it is poured from barrels. Most of "sagardotegis" are in the north of Gipuzkoa (Astigarraga, Hernani, Urnieta and Usurbil), but they can be found everywhere in Gipuzkoa, the north-west of Navarre and the Northern Basque Country.
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.
Due to Swedish law, stores in Sweden cannot sell cider with less than 15 percentage juice by volume under the name Cider. "Cider" with none or less than 15% juice is instead usually sold as "Apple/Pear beverage of cider character" (Swedish: "Äpple-/Pärondryck med Ciderkaraktär"). Brands of cider in Sweden include Rekorderlig, Kivik, Herrljunga Cider and Kopparberg cider.
There are two broad main traditions in cider production in the UK - the West Country tradition and the eastern 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. Britain's West Country contains many of these farms which have an abundance of ancient varieties of specialist cider-apples. Production is often on such a small scale, the product being sold only at the site of manufacture or in local pubs and shops. At the other end of the scale are the factories mass-producing brands such as Strongbow and Blackthorn.
Mass-produced 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.
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 and pineapple juice), whereas the higher classes would rather go for champagne or local sparkling wines 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. However, there has been lately a campaign by some bottlers to make cider a drink consumed all year round, in any occasion, and not only seasonally. Cider now comes in smaller bottle sizes and commercials show people drinking at any time (and not only toasting with it around a traditional Christmas or New Year table).
Cider has been made in Chile since colonial times. Southern Chile accounts for nearly all Cider production in the country. Chileans make a distinction between "sidra" ("cider"), in fact sparkling cider, and "chicha de manzana" ("apple chicha"), a homemade cider that is considered of less quality.
Cider in Japan and Korea refers to a soft drink similar to Sprite or lemonade. A popular drink in China is called "Apple Vinegar", which is actually cider. Shanxi Province is noted for the "vinegar" produced there.
Non-alcoholic, apple-flavoured carbonated drinks are popular in the country, with local brands such as Mehran Bottler's Apple Sidra and Murree Brewery's Big Apple in the market.
Cidre can be used as a marketing term to describe canned or bottled ciders containing a cider widget, or ciders which are cold-filtered rather than pasteurised.
Higher quality cider is sold in champagne-style bottles (cidre bouché). Many ciders are sold in corked bottles, but some screw-top bottles exist.
There are two main brands of cider produced in South Africa, Hunters 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 Hunters range includes Hunters Dry, Hunters Gold and Hunters Export. Savanna Dry was introduced in 1996 and also comes in a Light Premium variety.
Craft cideries in South Africa are on the increase, namely Windermere real apple cider and Everson's cider both from the Elgin valley. Windermere cider is the oldest cidery in South Africa and produces real apple cider from whole Windermere farm apples. Both are traditional cideries with the cider being oak aged.
The composition of cider is defined in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and "means the fruit wine prepared from the juice or must of apples and no more than 25% of the juice or must of pears". Cider has been made in Australia since its early settlement. Primarily this production has been for limited local usage, with national commercial distribution and sales dominated by two brands: Mercury Cider and Strongbow. Since early 2005 they been joined in the market by numerous new producers including Three Oaks Cider, Pipsqueak and Tooheys 5 Seeds Cider as well as imported brands like Magners, Weston's, Monteith's, Kopparberg, Rekorderlig and Somersby.
With the growth in interest in cider, the number of local producers has increased. Some cider producers are attempting to use more traditional methods and traditional cider apple varieties. The Southern Highlands of New South Wales are experiencing such a traditionalist revival with brands such as Sunshack Cider made from only local produce. Tasmania, also known as the 'Apple Isle' is having a resurgence of cider making. Spreyton Cider Co is a family owned cider producer in the Mersey Valley region, just south of Devonport. They make a range of hand crafted, premium ciders made from apples grown on orchards owned for 4 generations. Capt.Blighs 'Tasmanian Cider' is one of the newest producers using cider apples from the Huon Valley and Channel area. Huon Cider, made in New Norfolk, Tasmania, from Sturmer Pippin apples, a variety of apple commonly grown in the region since the 1830s. Henry of Harcourt and Bress cider (both from Harcourt, Victoria) are two of the most complex and interesting ciders that are commercially available. Other smaller brands rely on the available culinary (standard eating - supermarket and cooking apples) fruit. 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. South Australia's boutique ciders include Lobo (Adelaide Hills), The Hills Cider (Adelaide Hills), Thorogoods (Burra) and Aussie Cider (Barossa). In Western Australia the number of cider producers has also grown in the southwest region, particularly in areas where wine is also produced with producers in Denmark, Pemberton and Margaret River. In Tasmania there are a number of boutique cider makers including Pagan Cider (Huon Valley), Dickens Cider (Tamar Valley) and Spreyton Cider (Spreyton).
The cider market has grown from late 2008 onwards due to the trend in the UK following the Magners "drink with ice campaign" and to a lesser degree the change in the laws relating to Alcohol Tax on RTDs. Cider had the largest percentage growth in sales of alcohol products in 2009 & 2010.
In New Zealand, there are many companies which produce and/or distribute cider. Lion produces Isaac's ciders under the Mac's trademark. The range includes three flavours: apple, pear and berry with limited edition ciders that are released seasonally. Their Speight's brand also makes a cider.
The Dominion Breweries brands Monteith's Brewery in Greymouth on the west coast of the South Island makes an apple and a pear cider while their Old Mout Cider, based in Nelson on the South Island, is blending fruit wines with cider to create fruit ciders including boysenberry and feijoa varieties. Rekorderlig Cider (Pear, Wild Berries, Mango and Raspberry, Strawberry and Lime, Apple and Blackcurrant and Apple and spice), and Johnny Arrow Cider are another two brands owned by this company.
Ciders in New Zealand are regulated in their minimum content of fruit juice and alcohol content (mostly 4 to 5%).
Much like the United States to the South, settlers from the British Isles had their love of cider, but today it is francophones that are best known as the representatives of Canadian cider.
Quebec cider is considered a traditional alcoholic beverage. It is generally sold in 750 ml bottles, has an alcohol content generally between 7% and 13% (with aperitifs ciders having alcohol content up to 20%), and can be served as a substitute for wine. As in the rest of the world, sparkling cider is getting more and more popular in Quebec and thanks to the law cider sold in the province can only be made from 100% pure apple juice. 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 new type called ice cider has been sold. This type of cider is made from apples with a particularly high level of sugar caused by natural frost. Cider is commercially produced in British Columbia (large and small producers), Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario, usually with a 5-7% alcohol content. It is sold in 341ml, 355ml, 500ml and 750ml glass bottles and two litre plastic bottles, and does not usually have added sugar.
Two types of cider (sidra) are 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) and Sidral Aga from Group AGA. The other type, alcoholic sidra, is a sparkling cider typically sold in Champagne-style bottles with an alcohol content comparable to beer. Sidra was, due to the expense of imported Champagne, sometimes used as a substitute for New Year's Eve toasts in Mexico, as it is also a sweet, fruity drink. However, now the practice is to drink cider on Christmas Eve, celebrated with the family, and Champagne on New Year's, celebrated with friends. Cider beverages form a very small share of the Mexican alcoholic beverage market, with the figures for 2009 volume sales amounting to only 3.8 million litres.
In the United States, the definition of "cider" is usually more broad than in Europe, specifically Ireland and the UK. There are two types, one being the traditional definition, called hard cider and the second sweet or soft cider.
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