Apple cider can refer to two things:

First, apple cider (also known as sweet cider) is similar to apple juice in that it is made from pressing fresh apples. Unlike apple juice, apple cider is less filtered and typically unpasteurized, giving the cider a deeper, richer flavor. Apple cider is typically a seasonal product, and is used in the same ways as apple juice.

Secondly, apple cider can refer to hard cider, which is apple juice that has been fermented to make it alcoholic, and typically carbonated. While there are mass produced brands of hard cider available in the United States market (many of them made by large beer conglomerates, and tasting of Jolly Ranchers), quality hard cider is making a resurgence -- look for producers like the Wandering Aengus Ciderworks from Oregon or Eric Bordelet from the Normandy region of France. These are much more complex, and typically drier than commercially made hard ciders. 

Some popular cocktails containing Apple cider

  • New Jersey Transit — Bourbon, Bitters, Orange bitters, Apple cider, Demerara syrup, Orange peel
  • Faux Stone Fence — Rye, Apple cider, Lemon juice, Maple syrup
  • Pig's Punch — Rye, Bénédictine, Orange bitters, Apple cider, Lemon juice, Simple syrup, Sage
  • Kellyanne — Pear Vodka, Vanilla vodka, Pear liqueur, Dry vermouth, Apple cider, Cinnamon, Pear
  • No. Three — Bison grass vodka, Aperol, Apple cider, Lemon juice, Orange peel
  • Autumn's Daiquiri — Añejo rum, Allspice Dram, Apple cider, Lime juice, Rich demerara syrup 2:1
  • Wabash Cannonball — Rum, Cherry Liqueur, Elderflower liqueur, Bitters, Apple cider, Lemon juice
  • Apple Jack — Applejack, Lemon juice, Simple syrup, Apple cider
  • A Confederacy of Dunces — Apple brandy, Rye, Allspice Dram, Apple cider, Ginger beer, Maple syrup, Lemon juice, Cinnamon, Nutmeg
  • Stone Fence (variant 2) — Hard cider, Whiskey, Apple brandy, Triple sec, Apple cider, Mint


This may not be feasible, but it would be nice if there was a way to distinguish between the two types of apple cider in the recipes. In many, its hard to decipher wether the creator intended to use "sweet cider" or "hard cider".