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Feb 27, 2007 02:25 PM

?'s about hard cider

Would hard cider be closest to wine, beer, or spirits?
Is it acidic enough to use as a marinade to tenderize? Definite apple flavor?
Any nationwide (US) brands you could recommend?

It is for a pork roast recipe, but hard apple cider has always sounded good to me, I'd like to taste it as a drink, too! Thanks very much.

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  1. Most hard cider I've seen is closer to beer in alcohol %. The Dry Blackthorn is 6% which seems pretty typical. To tenderize go with one of the dry vs. the sweet varieties. The flavor totally depends on the brand of course. My current fav is the Woodchuck Granny Smith, just tart enough to be interesting.

    1. Hard cider is closest to beers, unless you get intrepid and freeze some of the water off (an old way to make applejack). It would be a fine marinade for a pork roast and as a braising liquid. English ciders tend to be less sweet (in my opinion) than the U.S. varieties. Strongbow is another good label.

      4 Replies
      1. re: zebcook

        Do tell me more about freezing the water off please. TIA.

        1. re: bryan

          Not recommended because it concentrates methanol as well as ethanol and ... methanol is bad, mkay?

        2. re: zebcook

          It's closest to beer only in relation to the alcohol %. From a production and ingredient standpoint it is identical to wine, in that it is nothing more than a fermented fruit juice.

          1. re: Chinon00

            Agreed! Famile Dupont produces great cider -- and they're my favorite Calvados producer, too.

          2. Hard Cider is closest to beer in terms of alcohol, it's true, but it's actually a naturally sparkling wine . . .

            Fermented fruit juice -- be it from grapes, apples, pears, etc. -- is wine. (Even though most people think "beer.")

            French cider is generally quite different (less sweet) than ciders made here in the US. Aside from the aforementioned cider from Dupont, look for the ciders from Eric Bordelet.

            2 Replies
              1. re: zin1953

                Hi, Jason: "[I]t's actually a naturally sparkling wine."

                At the risk of correcting you after 8 years, while I agree with you that cider is a wine, I disagree on two points. First, hard cider need not sparkle; it can be still, just as wines can. Second, in the vast majority of ciders available at retail, the sparkle is not the result of natural fermentation--the carbonation is supplied from a CO2 tank.


              2. Not to hijack your thread, but I've always been curious about hard cider... If I don't like beer, will I most likely not like cider? Or are they completely different animals?

                3 Replies
                1. re: Katie Nell

                  They are completely different animals.

                  Beer = no fruit (except as flavoring -- think Lambics)

                  Hard Cider = fruit is essential (without it, you cannot make cider), and the best possess a pure taste of the fruit from which they are produced . . . with added complexity, based upon location (cider from Normandy, France will inherently taste different than cider made from apples grown in England, in New England, or from the Pacific Northwest), AND based on the style of the producer -- just as one Napa Valley Cabernet will taste different from another Napa Valley Cabernet . . .

                  Depending upon where you live, many wine bars and/or restaurants serve cider by the glass -- either from bottles (like wine) or from a keg (think pressurized beer tap).

                  1. re: zin1953

                    Thanks for the informative answer... I live in Kansas, and I've never seen hard cider anywhere, but I haven't exactly sought it out either though. I'll have to check next time I'm at a liquor store or a good wine bar.

                    1. re: Katie Nell

                      You should be able to find a hard cider anywhere that there is a good selection of beers and microbrews, and I've found that a lot of the larger supermarkets that sell beer have a small section of shelf dedicated to cider all over the country. Woodchuck Cider is not a bad place to start if you're cureious enough to give it a try. I find it really refreshing and thirst quenching in the summer time, and I always bring a couple of six packs to BBQs and picnics.