Dry Cider: What It Is, How It Is Made, and Taste

Dry Cider

If you love to drink alcohol and have tasted various beverages from multiple corners of the globe, you must have heard about ciders. These types of drinks are available in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms.

Although many people compare ciders with beers, the two have several differences. The most crucial difference is their source. Ciders are manufactured from apple juice, whereas beers are made from malted barley and hops.

What is Dry Cider?

Dry cider is a kind of usual cider. However, there is one essential difference between the two. Dry ciders have little or no sugar content. All the sugar is removed through the process of fermentation. As a result, dry ciders taste more acidic and tart. The alcohol content of dry cider ranges from 4% to 6% and has a shorter shelf life. You will find dry cider stocked beside craft beers.

How Is Dry Cider Made?

Fermentation is the primary process of manufacturing dry cider. This process removes most or all the sugar content from the apple juice. Thus, dry ciders are less sweet compared to ordinary ciders. Cider manufacturers determine the dryness of ciders based on the amount of sugar left in the beverage. Usually, dry ciders have less than 0.5% sugar content, making them taste more acidic.

  • The manufacturing process of dry cider from apple juice is straightforward.
  • After the proper harvest of apples, these are crushed to release the juice.
  • The apple juice is fermented with yeast, which removes most of the liquid’s natural sugars.

After the completion of the entire fermentation process, the residue sugar is measured. This measurement is done by taking a gravity reading. This process helps to determine if ciders can be categorized as dry. It can only be called dry cider if the residual sugar content falls below 0.9%.

The acidic flavor of dry cider makes it an excellent contrast to ordinary cider, which is sweeter. Thus, it enables the dry cider to pair well with various dishes.

What Does Dry Cider Taste Vs. Beer Vs. Regular Cider?

Dry ciders have an acidic taste due to their low-to-nil sugar content. Due to this fact, it also has a sharp flavor. The alcohol by volume (ABV) in a dry cider ranges from 5% to 8% with a residual sugar of 0.5%.

The taste of a dry cider depends upon the type of apples used for the drink. It also depends upon how long the drink has been aged and the fermentation process. It will not be wrong to say that the taste of a dry cider will remind you of the taste of white wine. However, apart from the sharp, acidic taste, a dry cider also has earthy notes.

If you compare the taste of beer with dry cider, you will notice that beers usually have a sour, malty, and bitter taste. However, this is different from dry ciders. These drinks have an acidic taste. Similarly, if you compare the taste of dry cider with ordinary cider, you will notice that the latter has a sweeter taste.

Best Dry Cider Brands

There are quite a few manufacturers of dry ciders in the market. Here are some of the best dry cider brands with a brief outline of their tastes and food pairings.

1.    Angry Orchard Crisp Apple

This dry cider is manufactured by Angry Orchard and contains 5% ABV. This dry cider tastes crisp and refreshing and goes best with salad and grilled chicken.

2.    Woodchuck Amber

This is another famous dry cider brand manufactured by Woodchuck. It has a balanced and smooth taste with 5% ABV. The Woodchuck Amber goes best with coleslaw and BBQ ribs.

3.    Strongbow Gold

The Strongbow Gold is manufactured by Strongbow and contains 5% ABV. It also has a crisp and refreshing taste, and you will enjoy it the most with hummus and grilled vegetables.

4.    Johnny Appleseed

This dry cider contains 6% ABV and is manufactured by Johnny Appleseed. It has a sweet and refreshing taste and goes best with ice cream and apple pie.

Some Amazing Facts about Dry Cider

Many of you need to know some fantastic facts about dry cider.

  • Effects of Dry Cider on Your Health

Unlike popular beliefs, dry cider is beneficial for your health. Since the beverage is made from apples, dry cider contains plenty of antioxidants. Thus, it proves to be highly beneficial to your health. Half a pint of dry cider equals a full glass of red wine in terms of antioxidant content.

  • Dry Cider Drinking Technique

Surprisingly, different people have different ways of enjoying dry ciders. Some prefer to drink the beverage straight. But on the other hand, others like to mix dry ciders with other drinks to create a delicious combination. For example, mix it with fruit juices like apple juice to make a sweeter drink. This mixture will feel more refreshing, especially on hot summer days.

  • Appropriate Substitute for Dry Cider

If you do not like the taste of dry cider, you can try a combination of 1 cup or 250ml of wine and 1 cup or 250ml of stock. If you do not drink alcohol, you can choose to drink vegetable or low-salt chicken stock. You can also add a couple of spritzes of lemon juice at the end of the drink.

Tannins Can Affect the Dryness of a Cider

Tannins are typical in a specific variety of apples and are naturally occurring compounds. It is found in the seeds, stems, and skins of apples. Tannins play a significant role in making ciders dry and providing a bitter flavor. Apples rich in tannins will produce ciders that will appear drier and have a low level of sweetness.


Apple juice is the primary ingredient in making dry ciders. The natural sugar from apple juice is taken out by way of fermentation. Due to the very low or nil sugar content in a dry cider, it has an acidic flavor to it. You may have dry ciders on your own or with specific dishes.

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