Ever since I watched the scene in Fantastic Mr. Fox where the rat describes the taste of apple cider as being "like melted gold," I always wanted to try out the drink. But that also got me wondering, why do we have apple cider when I can go to my local grocery store to grab an apple juice? After all these years of wondering what the difference might be, I've finally taken the initiative to do some research on the difference between apple cider vs apple juice. 

Apple Cider vs Apple Juice in North America

sweet, juice, cider, apple
Susanna Mostaghim

Apple cider and apple juice have different regional meanings. In the United States and Canada, both apple cider and apple juice refer to non-alcoholic beverages. But then, what's the difference between an apple cider and apple juice, if they're both non-alcoholic and made from an apple? The answer is in the how they're processed.

While both are basically liquified apple, an apple cider in United States and Canada refers to raw apple juice that hasn't been filtered to remove pulp or sediment from the drink. On the other hand, apple juice has been filtered and pasteurized so it stays fresh longer.

In summary, an apple cider is what you would likely get if you visited an apple orchard. Apple cider has a shorter shelf life and is typically cloudier in appearance than apple juice. An apple juice would be something you would find sitting on the shelf of your local grocery store that's relatively clear.

Apple Cider vs Apple Juice Elsewhere

File:Woodchuck Hard Cider.jpg

Image from WikiCommons

If we move away from the North American region, the difference between apple cider and apple juice becomes more noticeable. In other regions, like the United Kingdom, apple cider is an alcoholic beverage. That is, you should be ready for your ID to be checked if you go to a restaurant and order an apple cider in the UK, Europe, and Australia.

Interestingly, in Korea the pronunciation of cider actually refers to Sprite. Which means that if you search for an apple cider in a grocery store in Korea, people would most likely offer you a Demi soda apple drink. It tastes like apple juice with bubbles, or simply put, apple-flavored Sprite. 

It's interesting to see how different regions will surprise you with different "apple ciders." No matter which you choose, both are refreshing and good to drink in the autumn.