Sparkling cider is a simple carbonated apple juice that has been filtered, pasteurized, and carbonated. Unlike hard cider, it is not fermented and does not contain alcohol. While many sparkling ciders are filtered, there are variations that are unfiltered. Sparkling ciders often contain a decent amount of either natural or artificial sugar (normally natural); thus, they are generally considered soft drinks and are generally in a similar space in the grocery store between juices and soda.
What alcohol is in sparkling cider? Sparkling ciders like Martinelli’s, Welch’s, and Sheffield’s are completely non-alcoholic. They never went through the fermentation process, so they do not contain alcohol and do not need the alcohol removal process like other non-alcoholic products. For ease of understanding, these products are simply just carbonated apple juice.
Martinelli’s is the biggest player in the game, so to speak. They have several flavors from sparkling apple to grape. Each one is made with a different type of apple or grapes, or they have blends to suit your fancy. Martinelli’s is family-owned and operated since 1868, producing Gold Medal juices from apples grown in the Pajaro Valley of Watsonville, CA. This and one other item on this list are generally your go-to options in the Midwest — where we are from. You HAVE to get some Martinelli’s for major holidays or to make some mocktails (or real cocktails if you are feeling saucy!).
How much does it cost? $3-4 dollars on average for a 25.4 fl oz bottle
Where to buy Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider: HERE
The best sparkling cider we’ve had in our lives. Not even close. This Washington state product comes from the Columbia Basin – an area rich with apple trees. Sheffield grows 14 different commercial apples and 40 different cider varieties. They have classic sweet, apple grape, apple raspberry, and a variety of specialty products that highlight several of their regional apples – providing additional flavor and complexity.
How much does it cost? $12-15 per 25.4 fl oz bottle
Where to buy Sheffield Cider: HERE
If Martinelli’s sparkling cider holds some childhood memories, Welch’s would have an album full. This is their only product out of the several I had a child that I still consume. This one is 100% apple juice cider with no added sugars, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. They have some newer bottles with more colorful packaging, but I prefer the older, classic design personally.
How much does it cost? $3-4 per 25.4 fl oz bottle
Where to buy Welch’s Cider: HERE
Now, we haven’t had this one before, but we have heard good things and it has availability at most major stores. RW Knudsen has been making products since 1961 on their organic vineyard in California. Their sparkling apple cider, like the others, is made from whole apples juice and some other ingredients. It is a non-GMO product and, naturally, non-alcoholic.
How much does it cost? $4 per 25.4 fl oz bottle
Where to buy RW Knudsen’s Cider: HERE
Again, not one we’ve had before, but this one has a lot of availability across the US. Another California product, Langers has been farming and making juice for folks since 1960. This certified-organic cider has 100% juice with no sugar or added sweeteners. Just carbonated apple juice at its finest. Compared to some of the other more commercial sparkling ciders, the sugar is a bit lower. Should be better for the more sugar-conscious individuals.
How much does it cost? $4-4.50 per 25.4 fl oz bottle
Where to buy Langer’s Cider: HERE
Now that you have your sparkling apple cider, you could booze it up to make an excellent cocktail. Below, we have highlighted three sparkling apple cider cocktails that peaked our interest.
Absolutely! This type of cider is alcohol-free, so they are free to consume it. Be warned, however, there is plenty of sugar left in sparkling cider. Like most sugary drinks, provide kids with cider in moderation.
Short answer, yes. One serving of sparkling cider can contain up to 32 grams of sugar. There are a lot of health benefits to apples and products made with apples. Just make sure you remember the sugar content and carbohydrates associated. It can easily be part of a balanced and delicious diet!
Commonly sparkling cider does not contain caffeine at all. That is not to say there aren’t products on the market that may add caffeine or be mixed with other products containing caffeine.
Like most shelf-stable products, most sparkling ciders do not need to be refrigerated until they are open. Once opened, the refrigerator will keep the product longer and with the same expected flavor. If you have not opened a sparkling cider, it is likely safe to have it unrefrigerated. Each brand it different, however, so make sure you know the rules of engagement with that particular brand.
Want to keep reading? Learn more about the difference between apple-based products. Interested in boozy ciders? We have a list of high abv ciders.