Contrary to what many people think, apple juice and apple cider are not one and the same thing. Both are prepared from squeezing juice from apples but the processes are quite different. Apple cider is primarily made from juiced apples; so, it has pulp, and high amount of minerals and vitamins compared to regular apple juice. Apple cider may not be pasteurized but apple juice is always prepared through pasteurization where the juice is heated up to 190 degree Fahrenheit during processing.
What Is Ice Cider?
Ice cider is prepared using apple juice that is naturally concentrated using cold. This creates high-sugar and full-bodied juicy syrup that is afterwards fermented. Ice cider, popularly called cidre de glace at its place of origin or Quebec, is essentially a cross between hard cider and ice wine. Similar to ice wine, the apples are kept on the vine for these to shrivel up during the winters. This ensures that they have sweet nectar. These super-concentrated apple juices are then fermented for that extra zing. Ice cider will typically have alcohol content ranging between 7% and 13%.
Ice cider is originally a product made in Quebec where it was possible to produce it because of its extremely cold temperatures. However, today you will find apple cider being made in other places too where the climate is not only conducive for growing apples but also where temperatures fall below freezing point. A cidery is the place where one can commercially prepare ice cider. It will use cryoconcentration were juices from the late-harvest apples are pressed and then allowed to freeze in winter.
All You Need To Know About Ice Cider:
Ice cider can be prepared using two processes, namely, cryoconcentration and cryoextraction, for concentrating natural sugars inside the apples using cold temperatures. The commonly used apples for ice cider production are Cortland, McIntosh, Spartan, and Empire. Since cryoextraction demands that apples be left on branches for much longer than when they are usually picked, orchards are growing new types of apples for producing ice cider. Cryoconcentration, or using cold for freezing apple juices, is similar to methods used earlier by Canadians for making maple syrup. Once frozen, a part is broken off that is more concentrated.
Almost 95% of ice cider production is by harvesting apples during the autumn, keeping these fresh, and then pressing these in winter. The juice is thereafter packed inside containers left outside during the winter. In six months time, the water freezes, separating sugar. In cryoextraction, the frozen fruits are left hanging on branches until middle of winter. By this time, they get dried by the winds and cold. Then they are picked at night when temperatures are hovering between -15 degrees and -8 degrees Centigrade.
Ice cider has many health benefits. Apples have polyphenol and these antioxidants can prevent cancers and inflammation. They reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases and boost overall health. Phytonutrients can prevent bad cholesterol from oxidizing and triggering plaque build-up in your arteries. Apple cider may not be very rich in fiber but it has been found to alleviate constipation and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. The drink, being unfiltered, retains pectin fiber that is responsible for good bowel movements. It is excellent for hydrating the body and prevents dehydration. When you dilute it with water, you can reduce your sugar intake.