Cider is a alcoholic beverage made by fermenting apple juice and is in the US and Canada known as hard cider or Applejack, without alcohol it is known as apple cider. Cider with alcohol content varies in strength from anywhere between 3%, often in French cider known as cidre doux, to 8.5% in more traditional English ciders. The UK does not only have the highest per capita consumption of cider in the world, especially in South West England, it also have the largest cider-producers as well, in 2006 it was recorded that the UK produce as much as 600 million litres of cider each year.
Cider can be made from any type of apples, but of course a few different cultivars are preferred, making these apples known as cider apples such as Kingston Black, Stoke Red, and Dymock Red. In later years, cider has started to be made from pears, also known as perry, to attract a younger market who seems to enjoy this type of cider more. Apples, and therefore cider, has a high concentration of so called phenolics and antioxidants which can reduce the risk of contracting heart disease and even cancer.
There is a large amount of different flavors of ciders, the flavor being classified by sweet- or dryness and the appearance ranging from completely clear to cloudy with sediments. The different flavors and appearances all depending on how the cider was filtered between the pressing and fermentation in the process of making the beverage. Cider mass-produced typically have a close resemblance to sparkling wines, while the more traditional brands have a darker appearance and stronger taste than their newcomer relatives. All over the world, anywhere where apples existed, cider has been manufactured throughout history, it is even said that in the 12th century, in the northwest part of Spain known as Galicia, Cider was more common than wine.