Difference Between Apple Juice and Apple Cider

difference between apple juice and apple cider

Have you ever wondered if apple juice and apple cider are the same? I have. One day I was at the grocery store, and I couldn’t decide on what to get and was panicking! I ended up getting both! As it turns out, even though apple juice and cider are different, they are similar in many ways.

To better understand the differences between them, you should first learn what they are, and then you can easily spot the differences between them. Let us begin!

What is Apple Juice?

Apple juice is the juice of apples that have been pressed, filtered, and then pasteurized for packaging purposes and to extend shelf life. This applies to organic apple juice. 

While there are other juices available in the market that are artificially flavored with apple flavor and contain very small amounts of real apple and sometimes none at all. The artificially produced apple juice often contains added sugars, which are often more unhealthy.

Apple juice is acidic and sweet. About 88% of apple juice is water. The rest of it is sugars and small amounts of protein and fat.

Fresh apple juice must be refrigerated immediately. Unopened apple juice should be kept in a cool, dark, shaded corner in your kitchen or pantry. But apple juice must be refrigerated once opened to prevent bacterial growth and spoiling.

Now let’s see what apple cider is.

What is Apple Cider?

Apple cider is an unfiltered beverage made from pressed apples. Often it is confused as an alcoholic drink, but in reality, apple cider is a “soft cider.” Apple cider is more tangy and cloudy as it has apple pulp and is unfiltered.

Apple cider is mainly sour and not sweet. It is always pasteurized to extend shelf life and prevent spoiling. It is often confused with apple cider vinegar. In reality, apple cider vinegar is made from apple cider after it has gone through a fermentation process that produces alcohol, and then the alcohol is turned into acetic acid. This turns apple cider into apple cider vinegar. 

Apple Juice vs. Apple Cider

The difference between apple juice and apple cider is in many different aspects. I’ll try my best to make you understand these differences easily and effortlessly.


Macerated apples are pressed and then filtered and pasteurized to make apple juice. Apple cider is made from pressed apples, including pulp and juice, as it is unfiltered. It is often pasteurized to prevent spoiling or fermentation.


Apple juice is golden brown and clear in color. On the other hand, apple cider is cloudy and dark brown or brown.


Apple juice is sweeter than apple cider, and apple cider is tangier than apple juice.


Apple juice has a crispy and milder flavor, while apple cider tastes more intense and slightly duller.


In terms of consistency, apple juice is more watery and liquid, while apple cider has a thicker consistency due to its pulp.


The only processing apple juice goes through is filtration and pasteurization. On the other hand, Apple cider can be pasteurized or not but always unfiltered.


Apple juice is clarified, while the apple cider is unclarified.

Shelf Life

Apple juice has a comparatively longer shelf life as unopened apple juice can last up to 2 years, and opened apple juice can last up to a month if refrigerated. 

Apple cider, in contrast, should be consumed as soon as possible and within 7-10 days. Apple cider tends to spoil and ferment, turning into apple cider vinegar or alcohol.

Picking the Apples

Apples used to make apple juice are picked later in the harvest, while the apples used to make cider are selected and harvested early.

You may also like: Does Apple Pie Need to Be Refrigerated

Some FAQ

Is apple cider healthier than apple juice?

There are a few health benefits differences between apple cider and apple juice. In most cases, their health benefits are relatively similar, or apple cider has more advantages.

Can you use apple juice instead of apple cider?

Yes! You can easily replace apple cider with apple juice in recipes. But remember that apple juice is sweeter and less tangy than apple cider.

Is apple cider good for you?

Yes, apple cider is good for you.

Does apple cider go bad?

Yes, apple cider can go bad or start fermenting. 

Can you substitute apple cider with apple juice?

While apple juice and cider can’t be proper substitutes for each other, in case of an emergency or fewer options, they can be used as substitutes. Always take into account the differences in their taste and flavor.  

How to make apple cider from apple juice?

You can make apple cider from apple juice by fermenting it.

Are apple cider and apple juice the same?

While the way they are made is different, and there are a few other differences, they also have many similarities. So apple cider and apple juice are not the same but are similar.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is fermented apple cider. When apple cider is further fermented, it produces alcohol. As the fermentation goes on, the alcohol is converted to acetic acid, one of the main components of vinegar, turning apple cider into apple cider vinegar.

Are apple cider and apple cider vinegar the same?

No, they are different, even though both are made from apple juice.

Final words

Even though apple juice and apple cider have drastically different processes, they are similar in many ways. It all comes down to personal preferences and your needs. 

In general, apple cider is more healthy than apple juice. Which one do you like more? Got any recipes to share? Please email us! 

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