Alcohol-free cider - no it's not just apple juice. Weston's Stowford cider has been the leading AF cider for years. We're proud to continue it's sale but new ciders are coming on to the market and we're starting a quest to find the best and hopefully find that elusive dry AF cider the market's crying out for.
Whether you're new to alcohol-free drinks and...
500ml bottle / Alcohol-Free (<0.5% ABV)£10.99 – £41.99 This is the real thing. Westons are renowned world-wide for producing some of the best ciders available - and now they have a low-alcohol version containing less than 0.5% alcohol-by-volume. Stowford LA is matured in old oak vats to produce a...
About Alcohol-Free Cider
A common reaction to the concept of alcohol-free cider is the question: “Isn’t that just apple juice?“
The dedicated cider makers who have toiling to bring their expertise to create the perfect non-alcoholic cider would not take kindly to that.
The difference between alcohol-free cider and apple juice is that cider is fully fermented and then has the alcohol carefully removed to create non-alcoholic cider.
It takes great skill and experience to maintain the depth and complexity of flavours you find in the best ciders during the de-alcoholisation process.
Apple juice, on the other hand, is squashed apples sieved to take out the lumps and then, in most cases, is pasteurised – that means heating to a high temperature and then rapidly cooling the juice – to give it a longer shelf life.
Of course there are some delicious apple juices and many cider lovers will thoroughly enjoy these too but as a juice, it’s a bit one dimensional.
It is the compounds that develop during the fermentation process – that are not present in juice – that gives cider its complexity of flavour even after the ethanol is removed.
The subtle qualities come from the biochemical interactions that result from the choice of apples and the multiple steps in the fermentation process. These elements produce varying styles of cider that are fruity or flowery, clear or cloudy, still or sparkling and range in colour from pale straw to almost brown.
Cider making is very similar to wine making. It’s nothing like brewing.
The climate and soils the apples are grown in, the variety and blend of apples used, the timing of harvesting, length of storage – known as sweating in cider making – the choice of yeast and the period of fermentation all contribute to the distinct flavours and aromas found in cider.
The apple selection determines the level of tannins and acidity or sweetness and, in some cases, carefully chosen hops may be added to give the finished product an extra dimension. Cider makers may choose different types of yeast including champagne yeast, cider-specific yeast or yeasts originally intended for use in beer, to achieve different taste profiles.
Maintaining the multiple elements and authenticity that contribute to the popularity of the drink during the process to produce de-alcoholised cider is a skill in itself.
A delicious zero % cider has to originate from a first-class full-strength cider.
De-alcoholising cider is a relatively new trend that’s been adopted to meet the increasing mindfulness of consumers.
Non-alcoholic Mulled Wine Recipe
Non alcoholic mulled cider is a soothing drink on a chilly winter night for guests coming in from the cold.
To make mulled cider: Gently warm the cider in a saucepan on a low heat. When the cider begins to steam, add thinly sliced fresh orange rounds. Sprinkle in allspice and ground cinnamon or use cinnamon sticks and a few pinches of cloves. The quantities will depend on how much you want to serve and you can add more or less depending on your personal taste. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat and leave to mull for 20 – 30 minutes. Serve strained in heatproof glasses and include a slice or two of the heated orange rounds for a zesty warm welcome.