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Published on May 30th, 2024. 

Around the World of Cider

A Global Toast to World Cider Day

From Stöffche to Sidra, apple cider goes by many names. Regardless of where it’s enjoyed, this tangy beverage uplifts spirits and evokes a distinct sense of home. World Cider Day on June 3rd aims to unite cider enthusiasts worldwide. Let’s revel in and commemorate the diverse array of ciders! Such a remarkable drink undoubtedly merits its own special day.




Embark on a journey through the rich tapestry of cider’s history, where ancient civilizations first unlocked the secrets of fermenting apples into a delightful drink.


Throughout the ages, cider has been cherished by diverse cultures, from medieval knights revelling in its taste to colonial settlers savouring its essence. Even in the face of challenges such as Prohibition, cider’s allure endured, persisting through clandestine gatherings and emerging triumphant on the other side.


In the modern era, the artisanal revival has seen the emergence of craft cideries, each weaving its own narrative of apple-infused artistry. Today, cider stands as a testament to tradition, innovation, and the enduring appeal of a timeless beverage that continues to delight palates worldwide.




France leads global cider production with “cidre,” especially from Normandy and Brittany. Cider has deep cultural roots, ranking as France’s second most consumed beverage until World War II, which significantly impacted production due to orchard destruction.


French cider, embodying the nation’s essence, is light, slightly sweet, and often bottled like champagne. There are two main types: brut, dry and crisp with 4.5% alcohol, and doux, sweeter with around 3% alcohol. French ciders are known for their lower alcohol content and natural sweetness achieved through keeving, a traditional method slowing fermentation. This process yields a sweeter, fruitier taste, with some brut-style ciders as low as 2% alcohol by volume.



Spanish cider, known as sidra, offers a unique and tart taste experience. It may initially surprise with its vinegary tang, but this is typical of Spanish cider. Produced mainly in Asturias and Basque regions, it’s dry, slightly vinegary, and unfiltered, with flavours of earthiness, spice, and citrus. Traditional methods involve slow fermentation in chestnut kegs with wild yeast. Regulations dictate the use of authorized apple varieties for labelling. Sidra is typically still, with 5-6.5% alcohol by volume.


The United Kingdom leads global cider consumption, with 57% of its apples grown for cider production. While fresh apples are common, some producers use concentrated apple juice.


In Somerset and Devon, cider production focuses on locally grown bittersweet and bittersharp apples, resulting in bone-dry farmhouse ciders known as “scrumpy.” These ciders are uncarbonated, unfiltered, highly tannic, and have a minimum alcohol content of 6%.

Conversely, in East Anglia and Kent, sweeter apples are favoured, often paired with additional fruits for a lighter, fruit-forward cider. Alcohol content usually peaks at 7.5%, however, locally consumed ciders can exceed 8.5%.



English settlers introduced cider on the Mayflower as a safer alternative to water. However, its popularity declined with the rise of beer, partly due to Prohibition and the Volstead Act banning alcoholic beverages. Despite challenges, recent years have seen a resurgence in craft cider. This resurgence is attributed to America’s flexible regulations, allowing for innovative blends and methods.


Top American ciders originate from apple-rich regions like New England, Oregon, and Michigan, where locally sourced apples define their distinct flavours. Craft producers experiment with techniques such as barrel-aging and fruit infusions, offering a diverse range of ciders in terms of sweetness and alcohol content, with some reaching over 11 percent. This bold innovation sets American ciders apart, reflecting both tradition and modern creativity in every sip.

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