In the bitter world of beers, hard cider is a sweet refreshing alternative. The fruitiness of hard cider makes you feel refreshed rather than bloated as beers do.
However, the taste of hard cider is not the only thing that made us gush over it. Brewing your own hard cider can be, in most cases, good for your wallet, not to mention healthier.
All you need is a good store-bought juice, a pitcher, and some yeast. Mix all of them and the rest will be taken care of on its own.
But, choosing the best apple juice for hard cider is very crucial. And that’s why we have created this list.
Now, before we start spitting facts, we feel like it will make more sense if we describe the criteria by which we are judging the products.
Our first concern was if the product would produce tasty hard cider. The ones that failed that test was simply excluded from this list.
Now, it is not feasible for you to buy various juices and judge which will taste better. Therefore, we have used sugar, acid, and flavor as the basic indicators.
You will find detailed descriptions of the products below-
|Image||Product Name||Calorie Per Serving||Quantity Per Bottle||Price|
|Tropicana Apple Juice||140||10 fl oz||Click Here|
|Izze Sparkling Apple Juice||90||8.40 fl oz||Click Here|
|Honest Kids Organic Apple Juice||40||6.75 fl oz||Click Here|
|Apple And Eve 100% Apple Juice||90||6.75 fl oz||Click Here|
|Good2Grow 100% Apple Juice||80||6 fl oz||Click Here|
|Mott’s 100% Original Apple Juice||120||32 fl oz||Click Here|
Tropicana Apple Juice
The first product on our list is the OG in the world of apple juice. There is hardly a person living who hasn’t heard the name of the brand Tropicana.
For the past 70 years, they have been serving people all around the world with top-notch quality juices.
So, naturally, our inclination towards it as our prior choice should not come across as a shock to you…
First of all, let’s discuss the taste-
Tropicana Apple Juice is 100% apple juice from concentrate. Now, what exactly does it mean? Firstly, let us break down what “100% apple juice” means and why is it important?
Well, 100% apple juice means that there are no added coloring, sugar, or preservatives. The juice is purely liquidated fruits. This is both good and bad.
Good in the sense that there are no preservatives. Most of the apple juices in the market have added preservatives like potassium sulfate and sodium benzoate.
These chemicals help to keep the juice safe from harmful bacteria and molds.
However, during the process, they also kill good bacteria. So, as a result, they won’t let the yeast grow either. And without it, there is no hard cider.
So, it is crucial that you buy a juice that is 100% apple juice.
Now, moving to the bad part-
As we have mentioned earlier, there is no added sugar in the “Tropicana Apple Juice”. Now, it may seem like a healthy option but when it comes to hard cider you need sugar.
Since the sugar is converted to alcohol and CO2 through the fermentation process, the amount of sugar is directly related to the amount of alcohol in the cider. So, less sugar means your cider will be weak in taste.
Even though “Tropicana Apple Juice” does not have any added sugar it does have natural sugar from the apple extracts. The amount of sugar in it is 31 grams.
Now, moving on to what the term “from concentrate” means-
When you see the words “from concentrate” on the label of a bottle it means that the manufacturer has removed some water from the pressed apple juice to make a concentrate.
And later some amount of water is added to restore the perfect proportion.
Now, a lot of people don’t opt for concentrated juice because they think it makes them taste bland. However, there is no concrete rule in cider-making about avoiding concentrated juice.
And honestly, “Tropicana Apple Juice” has enough elements to make the juice flavourful. For instance, malic acid and ascorbic acid are added as a source of sourness and vitamin C.
The “Tropicana Apple Juice” has 100% vitamin C. A great source for your daily nutrients. However, some may find it to be a little bit too sour. So, if you are someone who does not appreciate the sour taste then maybe it is not for you.
Lastly, the “Tropicana Apple Juice” comes in a 10 fl oz bottle in a pack of 24. The amount of calories per bottle is 140.
Apart from the taste, it is the most accessible product on our list. Because of its popularity all around the world, you can easily find it anywhere.
Room For Improvement
- The calorie per serving is the highest among the listed products. So, if you want a healthier option you may want to choose “Honest Kids Organic Juice”.
Izze Sparkling Apple Juice
The next product that we have is “Izze Sparkling Apple Juice”. It is quite different from the previously discussed- “Tropicana Apple Juice”.
For instance, unlike the “Tropicana Apple Juice”, it is neither 100% apple nor 100% juice. It is 70% fruit juice.
Apart from apples, you will also find white grape and acerola concentrates. And then sparkling water is added to the mixed fruit concentrate.
If you want to experiment a little or want more flavors in your cider you should definitely try this. Not only that the “Izze Sparkling Apple Juice” add a fruity flavor but the sparkling water makes it more bubbly.
Here, the “Izze Sparkling Apple Juice” comes in an 8.4 fl oz can. It contains about 21 grams of sugar which are quite less than the Tropicana one.
That means the alcohol element in the hard cider made from it will also be less. There is citric acid and ascorbic acid to add the signature acidic flavor of the cider. Ascorbic acid also provides vitamin C.
But the percentage of vitamin C is very less than that of Tropicana. It only has 30% vitamin C
However, vitamin C is not the only nutrient it provides. It also contains vitamin B6 which improves the immune system and niacinamide.
Now, what is niacinamide? Well, it is a form of vitamin B3. Niacinamide helps to build keratin, one kind of protein, for healthier skin.
Overall, it is a healthier option than “Tropicana Apple Juice”. Even the amount of calories in it is less than Tropicana. It has only 90 calories per can.
Room For Improvement
- It is not 100% apple juice like Tropicana. So, the taste will be rather fruity than tartly. If you want a “pure” apple juice then go for the “Tropicana Apple Juice”.
Honest Kids Organic Apple Juice
The following product is organic and gluten-free. And a great option for kids’ school lunch. We’re talking about the “Honest Kids Organic Apple Juice”.
However, that does not mean you cannot use it for brewing hard cider. In fact, “Honest Kids Organic Apple Juice” is a great option.
As mentioned before, it is made from organic apples. It is USDA certified. Now, there is no evidence that cider made from organic apples tastes better.
But if it is important for you that the apple juice must be organic then you can opt for the “Honest Kids Organic Apple Juice”.
Besides, it is a very healthy alternative to the previous two products. For instance, it contains 70% vitamin C. And above that, there is no caffeine or high fructose corn syrup.
That’s what makes it a great apple juice for kids. Because it does not cause hyperactivity in kids. However, the overall quantity and sugar level are lesser than Tropicana and “Izze Sparkling Juice”.
Each pouch weighs 6.75 fl oz. It is the best apple juice with less sugar. The amount of sugar in it is about 9 grams. Now, it may seem healthy but keep in mind sugar is what mainly adds the alcohol element.
Lesser the sugar, the weaker the cider.
Moreover, compared to Tropicana and “Izze Sparkling Juice”, the number of calories in “Honest Kids Organic Apple Juice” is also low. Per pouch has only 40 calories.
However, for 6.75 fl oz, 40 calories may not seem too low.
Room For Improvement
- The amount of sugar in it is quite low. So, the alcohol element won’t be as high as “Tropicana” or “Mott’s 100% Apple Juice”.
Apple And Eve 100% Apple Juice
Similar to “Honest Kids Organic Apple Juice”, “Apple And Eve 100% Apple Juice” mainly caters to younger demography.
And, if we were constructing a list of the best apple juice for kids, undoubtedly this will be on it alongside the discussed “Honest Organic Apple Juice”.
But, what’s there to like this product so much?
Well, the “Apple And Eve 100% Apple Juice” is also made from concentrate, just like Tropicana. However, it does not use sparkling water like “Izze Apple Juice” to reconstruct the original proportion.
A common practice is to add filtered water to the apple extract which most juice companies follow, such as Apple and Eve, Tropicana, etc.
But this is not the only similarity that Tropicana and Apple and Eve have between them.
Both are 100% apple juice. That means there is no other fruit mixture, no added sugar or preservatives.
The quantity of sugar in it is 20 grams. Now, this amount is less than Tropicana and Izze. However, the amount is still more than that of Honest Kids.
Overall calorie per pack is also more than that of Honest Kids. The total calories per serving in Apple And Eve is 90. But the serving size is the same for both, 6.75 fl oz.
That means, it is not as healthy as “Honest Kids Organic Apple Juice”. But it does have more nutrients. Apart from vitamin C, it also has 10% vitamin A and 10% vitamin E.
Room For Improvement
- The calorie is quite high and therefore not a healthy option like the “Honest Kids Organic Juice”.
Good2Grow 100% Apple Juice
“Good2Grow Apple Juice” is another 100% apple juice on the list. Just like Tropicana and Apple and Eve, this juice also has no added color, sugar, or preservatives.
However, because of being 100% apple juice it only offers one flavor, apple. If you want more flavors try “Izze Sparkling Juice”.
All the internal qualities aside, what we want to talk about first is the amazing packaging of this product. Because a packaging like this deserves a special accolade.
“Good2Grow Apple Juice” literally combines fun with nutrition. And therefore, is one of the best apple juice for kids.
Here, the packaging is BPA-free. That means the bottle is safe for drinking directly out of it.
Each bottle is 6 fl oz and has about 80 calories. There is 60% vitamin C and 3% Potassium. And the amount of sugar per bottle is 18 grams which is more than the “Honest Kids Organic Juice”. But it’s less than others.
Less sugar means the alcoholic component is the cider will be less as well.
Room For Improvement
- Even though it has more sugar than the “Honest Kids Organic Juice”, the amount is still low to make a really strong hard cider. Here, a pure juice option could be the “Tropicana Apple Juice”.
Mott’s 100% Original Apple Juice
The last product that we have on our list is “Mott’s 100% Original Apple Juice”.
As the name itself suggest, the product is 100% apple juice. Just like Tropicana, Apple and Eve, and Good2Grow, there is no added color or preservative. Neither there are any other fruits mixed in the juice. So, basically, it’s all apple.
This can be both a good and a bad thing. It all depends on your preference. For instance, if you want a cider that tastes authentic instead of fruity then 100% apple juices, such as “Mott’s 100% Original Apple Juice” are the best option.
On the other hand, if you find the authentic taste to be boring and want a bit of change then go for the ones that have a fruit medley. In that case, “Mott’s 100% Original Apple Juice” won’t be a good choice for you.
Apart from this, the Apple Juice comes in a 32 fl oz bottle. The quantity is so far the highest among all the products on our list.
However, the calorie per serving is higher as well. It is about 120 calories. It is the second-highest among the products listed here.
Besides, “Mott’s 100% Original Apple Juice” is pasteurized. Usually, store-bought juices are pasteurized apart from a few exceptions. That means, no extra effort is needed to prep your cider.
Moreover, it has no caffeine and no gluten. And above that, it is kosher-diest approved.
Now, the amount of sugar per bottle is 28 grams. And the amount of vitamin C is about 120% which is also the highest among all the listed products.
However, like the other products, it does not come in a pack of 24. It is a single product and therefore if you compare the price is relatively higher than the rest.
Room For Improvement
- The quantity per serving may be higher than Good2Grow or Tropicana. But it does not come in a pack of 24. So, the overall quantity is lesser than Tropicana or Good2Grow.
- It is more expensive as well.
Apple Cider Vs Apple Juice: What Should I Pick?
Now, it is hard to differentiate between apple cider and apple juice. Solely because the labeling that the companies put on the bottles is not precise.
People often consider that apple juices need to be clear and mild in contrast to apple cider which needs to be unpasteurized and cloudy.
However, this is not the case. What you consider as apple cider reality is that can be apple juice.
So, how are you going to understand which one to choose for your hard cider? Well, there are some basic traits that need to be considered before any purchase. For instance,
Be Aware of Preservatives!!
You do not want to buy a product that has preservatives in it.
Because it will just kill yeasts along with other bacteria. And your juice won’t be able to ferment to transfer into cider.
So, no matter what you buy, cider or juice, be sure to check if it has preservatives or not.
Sediments Are Good
People tend to pick the product with the least sediments because it is the most filtered option.
However, that is not correct. You want the least filtered option out there.
Because the heavily filtered ones have removed all the natural flavors that will help to balance the flavor and sweetness of your hard cider. That will result in a bland hard cider.
So, it is better to choose the option with most sediments.
However, juices or ciders with more sediments tend to be higher in price. So, you need to look out for that too.
Pasteurized or Unpasteurized?
Okay, so there is a huge debate in the cider community on whether you choose pasteurized or unpasteurized juice? Honestly, both have some merits and demerits.
Pasteurized juices are obviously safer. But there will be fewer sediments. That means there will be less flavor.
On the other hand, unpasteurized juices possess a higher risk of contamination. And there is no guarantee that once it is turned into a cider it will be safe to drink. Because the alcohol amount may not be that high to kill the bacteria.
Question: Does the Good2Grow Juice make you dehydrated?
Answer: No, it does not.
Question: How many pouches do I get with one pack of Honest Kids Organic Juice?
Answer: You get about 32 pouches with each pack of Honest Kids Organic Juice.
Question: Is Mott’s 100% Original Apple Juice pasteurized?
Answer: Yes, it is pasteurized.
To Sum Up
Well, that’s all from our side.
Hopefully, now you know everything about how to pick the best apple juice for hard cider.
If there is anything you would further like to know about, let us know.