With a monthlong campaign highlighting “dry” ciders, the American Cider Association wants to ensure that everybody knows how dry—and sugar-free—they are.
Just because hard cider has apples in it does not make it sugary.
If you’re a fan of the drink, you know this truism by heart, but for those who aren’t, a new campaign by the American Cider Association aims to set you straight.
Last week, ACA announced a new monthlong campaign called Dry Cider January, which aims to promote its members’ cider variants that contain no sugar.
The ciders on the list—about 50 as of this writing, sold by more than 20 vendors nationwide—come in various sizes and distributions (some in cans, some on tap, and some in bottles), but all have one thing in common: They’re fruity but not sugary. In a news release, ACA Executive Director Michelle McGrath says there’s a distinction, and for those looking for just that distinction, there’s a lot of benefit to be found.
“The brain has a hard time distinguishing fruity from sweet. Many ciders with absolutely no sugar in them can still be fruit-forward,” McGrath explained. “You’ll find there are a multitude of dry ciders available when you start seeking them.”
So what makes a beverage dry? Simply put, it’s a byproduct of the fermentation process, which converts sugar to alcohol. Ciders without any residual sugars left over after the process are said to be “bone dry.” While some cider-makers will add fruit juice to the mix to balance out the acidity, others prefer to keep it bone dry. Dryness has become a common distinguishing factor of ciders, and some list it on their packaging.
(A similar technique of removing the sugars through the fermentation process is being used by a beverage that isn’t a cider but has gained popularity in recent years—White Claw Hard Seltzer.)
ACA, which is asking its members to submit additional “dry” cider variants, says that it plans to identify other types of ciders to promote throughout the year.