What is Ice Cider?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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Ice cider is a beverage made from sweet ripe apples which have been allowed to freeze on the tree. The result is a rich drink with a slight acidity which makes it refreshing, rather than cloying, as many sweet ciders tend to be. Ice cider is also sometimes called apple ice wine, a reference to the grape-based beverage which inspired it. Specialty stores may carry ice cider, and it can sometimes be ordered directly from the producer, depending on prevailing laws about shipping alcohol in your region.

The history of ice cider actually begins with ice wine, a type of wine made from grapes which are left on the vine to freeze during the winter. Ice wine has long been produced in Germany and Canada, two nations which have winters cold enough to sustain the serious freeze needed. Canadian producers of cider realized that the same technique could be used to produce a unique cider, and they began experimenting with freezing their apple crops before pressing them.


Typically, ice cider is made from apples which are naturally sweet. The apples are either left on the tree to freeze during the winter months, or they are picked and stored in wooden crates in a cold area. After a prolonged freeze, the apples are pressed to produce juice and the juice is fermented into cider. Ice cider is typically fermented under cold conditions, extending the fermentation time to several months, and some producers handle their cider carefully so that it can be cellared.

Usually, ice cider will be made with several apple varieties. The blend takes advantage of the natural traits of several kinds of apples, creating layers of flavor which can get very complex. After sufficient fermentation, the ice cider is bottled and sent to market. The unique take on apple cider is distinctly different from other ciders, with a crisp, clean mouthfeel; it is best served cold.

There are a number of possible pairings for ice cider. The beverage can be offered after dinner, served with fruit, or paired with cheeses. Spicy foods also go well with iced cider, as the refreshing flavor can temper extreme spice, and the drink accompanies grilled and roasted fish well also. Iced cider may also sometimes be used in mixed drinks such as cocktails, and it can make an interesting conversation piece at holiday parties.


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Post 3

No they are different. Besides ice cider having more alcohol, an average 1of 0-12 percent, the apple juice for ice cider is frozen before fermentation to concentrate the flavor and sweetness. Only the heavier, concentrated result is then fermented. This results in a more viscous, sweeter and complex beverage.

Post 2

The first ice cider was produced in a town in Qubec called Frelishburg and as such Quebec could be or should be identified as the region of origin or in other words, the original country of origin.

The product is understated and simply a forgotten treasure of nature which is not only a beverage but a value added to so many possible food preparations. --Mariano

Post 1

I've had that Sparkling Apple Cider at New Years when I was a kid, but that had no alcohol (which is why we were allowed) aren't they basically the same thing, one just has bubbles.

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