If you’re serious about your cider, look for traditional or organic producers; their cider is more likely to contain pure fermented fruit juice rather than flavours extracted from fruit pulp. As a general rule of thumb, the darker and cloudier the cider, the higher the alcohol content.
The Ancient Britons were fermenting crab apples in the BC era, which goes some way to explaining how cider became the second most popular beverage in the UK, after beer.
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Cider flavour is significantly influenced by the type of cider and the variety of fruit. Pear cider will taste like pears, and, unsurprisingly, apple cider tastes like apples. But it’s not as simple as that. There are as many variations in flavour for apple ciders as there are varieties of apples themselves, and that’s without taking into account the different fermenting methods that will deliver sweet, dry, clear, cloudy, crisp or effervescent attributes. And over the past few years, as cider has grown in popularity and production, there are new varieties now incorporating other fruit flavours such as passionfruit, berry, guava and orange.