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Cider vs. Juice: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 26, 2023
Cider typically refers to a fermented beverage made from apples, while juice is the extracted liquid from fruits, vegetables, or plants, usually unfermented.

Key Differences

Cider is primarily associated with apples and is often a fermented drink with alcoholic content. Juice, in contrast, is the liquid extract from not just apples but a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and even certain plants, and is typically non-alcoholic.
While cider undergoes a fermentation process that can lead to the creation of alcohol, juice is often consumed in its natural, fresh state, retaining the raw flavors and nutrients of the source ingredient.
Both cider and juice can be found in pasteurized forms in stores. However, when referring to cider, it might also denote a form of apple juice in certain regions, leading to potential confusion. Juice is a more general term, consistent in meaning across different contexts.
It's important to note that there's "hard cider," which contains alcohol, and "apple cider," which in some areas means unfiltered apple juice. Juice, on the other hand, doesn't have such variations based on fermentation and is more straightforward in definition.
Culinary enthusiasts and bartenders often use cider in cooking and cocktails due to its distinctive flavor profile, sometimes tangy and effervescent. Juice serves as a base in many beverages, providing natural sweetness and flavor without the complexities of fermentation.

Comparison Chart

Primary Ingredient

Often apples.
Any fruit, vegetable, or certain plants.


Typically fermented, can contain alcohol.
Usually unfermented and non-alcoholic.


Hard cider (alcoholic), apple cider (sometimes non-alcoholic).
No specific variations based on fermentation.

Usage in Cooking

Used for its tangy and sometimes effervescent profile.
Adds natural sweetness and flavor to dishes and beverages.

Regional Interpretations

In some places, cider might mean unfiltered apple juice.
Juice is a consistent term across regions for extracted liquid.

Cider and Juice Definitions


Sometimes, an unfermented drink made from pressed apples.
The kids loved the fresh apple cider from the orchard.


A liquid naturally contained in plant or animal tissue.
The steak was juicy, with its natural juices enhancing the flavor.


A drink that can have a range of alcoholic content.
Some ciders are stronger than others in terms of alcohol.


Used in cooking to impart flavor or moisture.
She added pineapple juice to the marinade for sweetness.


A fermented beverage made from apples.
She enjoyed a glass of cider on a chilly evening.


Sometimes used colloquially to refer to electrical power.
The device ran out of juice, so he charged it.


A beverage that can be sparkling or still based on fermentation.
He opened a bottle of sparkling cider for the celebration.


The extracted liquid from fruits or vegetables.
She squeezed an orange to get fresh juice.


Used in culinary dishes for its tangy flavor.
The pork was braised in cider for extra flavor.


A beverage made by diluting a juice concentrate.
He made some grape juice by adding water to the concentrate.


Unfermented juice pressed from fruit, especially apples, used as a beverage or to make other products, such as vinegar.


A fluid naturally contained in plant or animal tissue
Fruit juice.
Meat braised in its own juices.


What fruit is cider usually made from?

Cider is typically made from apples.

Is juice always non-alcoholic?

Juice is usually non-alcoholic, being the fresh extract from fruits or vegetables.

What's the difference between cider and apple wine?

While both are fermented, apple wine often has a higher alcohol content and may undergo different production methods.

Can cider be non-alcoholic?

Yes, in some regions, apple cider refers to unfiltered apple juice.

Is cider always made from fruit?

Most commonly yes, with apples being predominant, though there are variations like pear cider.

What is "hard cider"?

Hard cider is fermented apple beverage containing alcohol.

Can juice be used as a base for cocktails?

Absolutely, many cocktails use juice for flavor and volume.

Which has more variety in flavors, cider or juice?

Juice has more variety since it can be extracted from numerous fruits and vegetables.

Is tomato juice made from the whole tomato?

Typically, it's made from the liquid content of tomatoes, sometimes with added salt or spices.

How is cider different from beer?

Cider is made from fermented fruit, while beer is from fermented grains.

Are there ciders made from fruits other than apples?

Yes, pear cider, also known as perry, is one example.

Can juice be carbonated?

Yes, though carbonated juice is typically labeled as a sparkling beverage.

Does cider have health benefits?

In moderation, cider can offer some benefits from antioxidants, but it's best to consult health professionals.

How long does cider last once opened?

It varies, but opened cider should be consumed within a few days to a week for best quality.

Is freshly squeezed juice better than store-bought?

Freshly squeezed juice often retains more nutrients and lacks preservatives, but it's a matter of preference.

Is apple cider vinegar related to cider?

Yes, it's a vinegar made from fermented apple cider.

Is "fruit punch" considered a juice?

Fruit punch often contains juice but can have other ingredients, making it a mixed beverage.

Can you cook with juice?

Definitely, juice is often used in cooking for flavor and moisture.

Is there a difference between juice and nectar?

Yes, nectar is thicker, often with added sugar or sweeteners, and may contain pulp, while juice is typically the pure extracted liquid.

Can juice be fermented?

While juice can be fermented, once it is, it often takes on a different name, like cider for apples.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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