The American Cider Association launched a month-long campaign called “Dry Cider January” to promote ciders containing 0 grams of sugar.
Alcohol is created when yeast converts sugar into alcohol through fermentation. A cider that contains no residual sugar has been fermented to absolute dryness. Sometimes cidermakers will blend a completely dry cider with fresh juice for acid/sugar balance, but other times they leave the cider entirely dry. These dry ciders are what the association is listing on their website for the campaign.
“The brain has a hard time distinguishing fruity from sweet. Many ciders with absolutely no sugar in them can still be fruit-forward,” explained the association’s executive director, Michelle McGrath. “You’ll find there are a multitude of dry ciders available when you start seeking them,” she added.
In alphabetical order, here is part 1 of some of the dry ciders we have tasted over the years.
Alpenfire’s “Pirate’s Plank Estate Bone Dry” is a scrumpy style cider made with a blend of bittersharp & bittersweet apples (Scrumpy style ciders can be dry or sweet but are usually still and unfiltered). The apples are aged for 3-4 months in neutral oak (which does not add flavor, rather it is used to soften the cider) with wild yeast. The cider is unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle conditioned. The resulting cider is bone dry (o% residual sugar), a bit astringent but with a slightly funky finish.
Broski Ciderworks’ “Dry Cider” (5% ABV) is a slightly bubbly dry English style cider (think Sancerre) that has a clean apple flavor and slightly tannic finish.
Eden Specialty Ciders’ “Sparkling Dry” -The cross vintage cider made with 50% Kingston Black, 30% heirloom, 20% dessert fruit is aged for one year. The sparkling dry cider is fermented with champagne yeast, which is discouraged before final bottling. The resulting unpasteurized and unfiltered cider is dry, The cider has a deep golden color with a light effervescence. Bitterness and astringency are a result of the use of the Kingston Black apples and it finishes with a slightly fermented taste.
Farnum Hill “Extra Dry” -The apples are about 50% bittersweet to provide a complexity to the cider – Think Old English without the funk. The cider aims for a bit of sweetness with a long fruity finish. The lack of residual sugar results in a dry cider, but it is very well rounded and smooth due to lower acidity.
Right Bee Cider “Dry” – fermented apples with no back sweetening or additive, yeasty nose and tangy, astringent apple flavors.