A few terms as defined by Farnum Hill Cider & Poverty Lane Orchards in the booklet Inside Cider: Fast Facts for Wholesalers, Retailers, and Aficionados from Farnum Hill CIder © copyright Poverty Lane Orchards 2011. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Some USEFUL TERMS Up Front…
CIDER: An alcoholic beverage fermented from apples, as wine is an alcoholic beverage fermented from grapes. The cider-making & wine-making crafts have much in common. Prohibition devastated both in the U.S. but only cider lost its true name. In the U.S. ‘cider’ has only begun to reclaim its worldwide meaning.
APPLE JUICE: 1) a complex, perishable fluid pressed from raw apples. Once termed ‘sweet cider, it was re-dubbed in the U.S. during Prohibition. 2) a stabilized, clarified juice product sold year-round, usually made by diluting apple juice concentrate.
APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE: a stable syrup reduced from raw juice. Heat & fans evaporate 90% of the water; filters remove suspended fruit solids. Concentrates used for cider may be generic (from any varieties available) select (made from specified apple varieties) or bitter-sweet (made from tannic cider apples).
HARD CIDER: 1) Our 20th-Century redub of ‘cider’, a word we grafted onto ‘apple juice’, previously called ‘sweet cider.’ Of course, ‘hard’ has long meant ‘alcoholic’. 2) HARD CIDER is also a Federal tax status that lets high-volume ciders under 7% abv. pay beer-tax rates. Above 7% abv, ciders pay wine excise tax.*
*Ed. Note: See CIDER Act press release post for information on proposed changes to current tax regulations.