Cider (// SY-dər) is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Cider is widely available in the United Kingdom (particularly in the West Country) and the Republic of Ireland. The UK has the world's highest per capita consumption, as well as its largest cider-producing companies. Ciders from the South West of England are generally stronger. Cider is also popular in many Commonwealth countries, such as India, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. As well as the UK and its former colonies, cider is popular in Portugal (mainly in Minho and Madeira), France (particularly Normandy and Brittany), northern Italy (Piedmont and Friuli), and northern Spain (especially the Principality of Asturias and the Basque Country). Central Europe also has its own types of cider with Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse producing a particularly tart version known as Apfelwein. In the U.S., varieties of fermented cider are often called hard cider to distinguish alcoholic cider from non-alcoholic apple cider or "sweet cider", also made from apples. In Canada, cider cannot contain less than 2.5% or over 13% absolute alcohol by volume.
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The juice of most varieties of apple, including crab apples, can be used to make cider, but cider apples are best. The addition of sugar or extra fruit before a second fermentation increases the ethanol content of the resulting beverage. Cider alcohol content varies from 1.2% to 8.5% ABV or more in traditional English ciders, and 3.5% to 12% in continental ciders. In UK law, it must contain at least 35% apple juice (fresh or from concentrate), although CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) says that "real cider" must be at least 90% fresh apple juice. In the US, there is a 50% minimum. In France, cider must be made solely from apples.
In 2014, a study found that a 1-US-pint (470 ml) bottle of mass-market cider contained five teaspoons (20.5 g) of sugar, nearly the amount the WHO recommends as an adult's daily allowance of added sugar, and 5–10 times the amount of sugar in lager or ale.