The Japanese word, “genshin” means ‘to drink again and again’ and this describes what people in Japan have been doing since ancient times when they drank fermented fruit juice called ‘sake’.
However, while sake has become a staple beverage of many throughout Asia, its popularity has waned in Europe and North America where most people don’t know how to properly brew or serve it.
This has led to the creation of another fermented fruit juice known as ‘cider’ which is also referred to by the English name of ‘apple wine’.
What Is Sweet Cider?
Cider is basically apple juice that is fermented using yeast.
The fermentation process turns the juice into alcohol but not all juices contain enough sugar for fermentation so some are mixed with honey, molasses or glucose syrup to provide sufficient nutrients for the yeast to thrive on during the brewing process.
This creates an alcoholic beverage that is generally very light tasting though there are many variations depending on the type of apple used, the amount of sugar added, the temperature at which the mixture was brewed and even whether the juice had any additives such as cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves or ginger.
Though sweet ciders may vary slightly from region to region, they are almost always served chilled and usually without ice cubes (though sometimes carbonated water is added).
They are typically consumed either straight up or diluted before being poured over ice cream or eaten plain as part of an after-dinner dessert.
What Does It Taste Like?
Cider is a clear, bright-colored liquid that tastes very much like apple juice but without any of the added sugar.
Ciders are made from various types of apples such as Granny Smith, Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, MacIntosh, Pink Lady and others. The type of apple used will determine the color of the resulting product.
While all ciders contain some form of alcohol, not all alcoholic beverages are considered ciders.
For instance, beer is technically an alcoholic beverage even though it contains no actual alcohol whereas hard liquor (whiskey) is only distilled spirits which do contain alcohol.
In general, ciders are light bodied and low proof so you would need to consume about three glasses worth before feeling anything at all.
However, if you’re looking for something stronger then try making your own mead instead.
What Is The Recipe For Sweet Cider?
Sweet cider is a type of apple wine produced using specific varieties such as Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady or Granny Smith apples.
The recipe for sweet cider includes fermenting these apples with yeast and then adding sugar along with the natural acidity found within them.
Once fermentation starts, the mixture will slowly continue to change over time into an alcoholic beverage.
In order for the process of making sweet cider to work, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration including but not limited to:
- Apples – Apple varieties suitable for producing cider include Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady and Granny Smith. These particular ones are commonly used because their flesh contains enough pectin (the soluble component responsible for setting) without being too tart.
- Yeast – Yeast is added to the mix so that fermentation begins. There are two types available on the market today: champagne yeast and ale yeast.
- Sugar – Sugar is often added after fermentation occurs in order to increase the sweetness level of the resulting product. Sugars found in nature are sucrose and fructose whereas those found in processed foods include glucose and maltose. When brewing cider, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is often used instead of pure cane sugar due to its availability and affordability.
- Acidity – Acids from the apples are necessary for creating a pleasant flavor profile during the cider-making process. Common acids included in apple cider recipes are malic, citric and lactic.
How Do You Make Sweet Cider?
Sweet cider is made from raw apple juice (also known as hard cider) that is then mixed with sugar syrup before being left to ferment into an alcoholic drink.
It takes about one year for the fermentation process to take place and during this time the liquid will turn into something quite different from the original juice as bacteria begin to eat away at the sugars.
Once the fermentation process is complete, the cider will look like thick dark brown beer.
This is because the yeast produces alcohol and carbon dioxide gas as part of their metabolic activities but these gases are trapped inside the mixture as bubbles.
As the bubbles grow larger, they push up against each other and eventually burst causing foam to form on top of the liquid.
Once the fermentation process is complete, the cider will taste sweeter than normal and should be served cold instead of hot.
This drink can be enjoyed straight off the cask or used as a base ingredient for making other drinks such as cocktails or punches.
What Is The Best Way To Enjoy Sweet Cider?
Sweet cider is an alcoholic beverage that comes from fermentation of apple juice (also known as hard cider) using yeast.
The process takes place at room temperature for about three weeks until the sugar content reaches up to 15%.
In comparison, beer requires two months or more and wine needs anywhere from several months to years before reaching the same level of maturity.
There are various types of ciders available on the market today.
For instance, there are dry ciders, semi-dry ciders, light ciders, bittersweet ciders, and sweet ciders.
All these variants come from different processes used during production but each one will yield a unique flavor profile depending on the type of apple used.
For example, if you use McIntosh apples then your cider will taste milder than if you were to ferment Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, or Granny Smith apples.
As such, choosing the right variety of apples will help determine the overall taste of your finished product.
Also, the amount of alcohol contained within it is dependent upon the kind of apples used and whether or not you choose to add any additional ingredients.
In addition to selecting the right apple varieties, you should also consider the quantity of alcohol you want to include.
To start off, let us say we wanted to create a 5% ABV cider.
If you simply pour some plain water into a bottle and add 2 cups of fresh apple juice, the resulting liquid would only contain 3.5 percent ABV.
In order to achieve our goal, we need to increase the volume of the mixture so that it contains 7.6 liters of liquid instead of just 4.4 liters.
To begin, fill up five 1 liter bottles with cold filtered tap water.
Then, carefully measure out 6.8 kilograms of freshly pressed apple juice into a large container.
You may find it easier to weigh all the ingredients rather than use measuring spoons because the latter method might be inaccurate.
Next, put the containers back onto their respective scales and zero them out.
Finally, transfer the contents of the container into the five glass bottles.
Make sure to stir the mixture well after transferring everything over.
Doing so will ensure that all the components get evenly distributed.
If done correctly, the total weight of the new mixture should equal exactly 10 kilogrammes (22 pounds).
Once the entire setup is complete, cover the bottles tightly with plastic wrap and allow them to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
Once this period has elapsed, gently shake each bottle once every hour to aerate the mixture.
After eight hours, open up the bottles and check the volume levels of the mixtures inside.
They should now be filled to 8.7 liters per bottle.
After verifying that the total volume of the five bottles equals exactly 10 liters, seal them up and leave them undisturbed for another week.
During this time, you should notice that the color of the mixture changes from clear to amber and eventually dark brown.
When this happens, it indicates that fermentation has begun.
What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Sweet Cider?
If you want to find out more about why sweet cider is so good for your health then read on!
The following list will highlight some of the main reasons why people should start making their own cider at home.
- Sweet Cider Is Good For Your Heart – As we mentioned above, one of the key ingredients used in creating sweet cider is apple juice. Apples contain high levels of antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids which help reduce cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Sweet Cider Can Help You Lose Weight – Apple juice contains a lot of fiber and helps keep blood sugar levels stable which makes it easier for you to lose weight if you consume it regularly.
- Sweet Cider Helps Keep Blood Sugar Levels Balanced – If you suffer from diabetes, consuming sweet cider may help lower your blood sugar levels because it contains fructose (a type of carbohydrate). However, do not use apple juice for diabetic patients because it does not provide enough glucose.
- Sweet Cider Improves Digestion – Just like any kind of alcohol, sweet cider can improve digestion by helping break down food particles and reducing stomach acid. In addition, it is also thought to relieve indigestion caused by eating too much rich foods which are hard to digest.
- Sweet Cider Contains Vitamins And Minerals That Are Essential To A Healthy Life – One of the major benefits of drinking sweet cider is that it contains vitamins and minerals that are essential to our daily lives. These include potassium, vitamin B1 and magnesium which are important for heart function and regulating blood pressure respectively.
- Sweet Cider Has Antioxidant Properties Which Protect Our Cells From Free Radicals – Another benefit of drinking sweet cider is that it has antioxidant properties which protect our cells against free radicals.
- Sweet Cider May Be Used To Treat Mild Cases Of Alcoholism – Drinking sweet cider could potentially help treat mild cases of alcoholism due to the fact that it reduces cravings for alcoholic beverages.
How Do I Make My Own Sweet Cidre Recipe?
There are several ways to make sweet cider but the easiest method involves using an all-in-one kit.
All you need to do is wash and slice up fresh apples and place them into a large fermentation tank along with water and yeast.
Once fermentation starts, remove the lid and let the mixture ferment until it becomes thick and frothy.
Once ready, strain the liquid through cheesecloth and pour it into bottles filled with sugar.
Let the mixture sit for 3 days before serving and enjoy the refreshing taste!
What Are The Side Effects Of Drinking Sweet Cider?
If you take into consideration all of the different types of alcohol, there really isn’t much difference between them aside from their potency.
However, due to the fact that apple wines tend to be higher in sugar than other alcoholic beverages, they do carry some risks.
These include headaches, gastrointestinal distress, dehydration, increased heart rate, nausea, and even liver damage if consumed in excess.
In addition, because of the high fructose content, apple wines can lead to weight gain, especially if combined with an unhealthy diet.
As such, it may not be wise to consume large amounts of sweet cider on a regular basis without first consulting your doctor.
Apple Wine Recipe
- 1-2 lbs (0.5-1 kg) fresh apples
- 2 cups water
- Sugar (optional)
Preparation: Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/4 inch slices.
Place the apples into a container along with 2 cups of cold water.
Cover with cheesecloth and leave at room temperature overnight.
The next day, filter out the pulp through cheesecloth and combine with remaining ingredients.
Add more water if necessary to make up to 3 gallons (11 liters). Stir well before serving.
This recipe makes approximately 4 quarts (3.8 liters), but feel free to experiment with larger quantities depending upon your personal preferences.
Is Sweet Cider Good For You?
Sweet cider is not only delicious but healthy too.
The taste of apple makes it easy on the palate and its health benefits make it ideal for any time of year.
It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber along with vitamins such as C, B1, B6, E, K, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folate, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iodine.
These nutrients help protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, liver damage, allergies, and more.
Because it is naturally rich in antioxidants, sweet cider will keep your body free from toxins.
In addition, it helps prevent constipation because it contains pectin, an ingredient found in all plants including fruits and vegetables.
Pectin plays a role in promoting digestion and preventing diarrhea.
When combined with vitamin A, D, and K, pectin promotes bone growth and development.
As a result, children who consume the recommended daily amount of sweet cider may experience less risk of developing rickets.
Another benefit of sweet cider is that it gives you energy.
Not only does it provide your body with carbohydrates and sugars, but it also provides you with caffeine.
Studies show that caffeine increases endurance during exercise and keeps you alert without causing jitters.
Why Is Sweet Cider Popular?
In Europe and North America, apple cider tends to be served at parties during holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, etc.
The reason why it is so widely consumed is because it tastes very similar to hard apple cider (also known as ‘hard ciders’) but contains less alcohol content.
Therefore, it is considered safer than hard cider although the taste is slightly weaker; hence the reason why people tend to prefer drinking it instead of hard cider.
It goes without saying that apple cider doesn’t contain any preservatives such as sulfites or artificial coloring agents.
So, if you want to avoid getting sick from consuming too much sugar then you should not consume it on an empty stomach.
What Is The History Of Sweet Cider?
Cider was first produced in England during the late 17th century.
The tradition began when apple farmers would harvest their crops and crush them using a press before fermenting them into juice for later consumption or sale.
However, in order to make the process easier, some farmers started adding sugar to their cider to increase its sweetness.
This practice caught on with some who went so far as to add spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and raisins to the mix.
This new type of alcoholic drink became popular across Britain and Ireland until it spread to America around 1820.
By then, the American colonists had developed an even sweeter version of cider.
As such, the original sweet ciders are now referred to as hard cider.
In addition to being a tasty drink, cider was highly regarded for its medicinal properties too.
In fact, the British used it to treat everything from colds to stomach aches, fever, and headaches.
Cider could also help prevent sickness, particularly if you consumed it regularly.
For instance, one 16th-century medical book advised that those suffering from influenza should take two pints of hot water mixed with three tablespoons each of honey, vinegar, and lemon juice every day to reduce symptoms and help recovery.