Originally Posted by hurleyburley
In The USA, hard apple cider is defined as having ABV below 7%. Anyting over 7% is considered wine by The US Federal Government. How we were getting Strongbow at 7.5% when it first came out is beyond me. I am guessing rules are different in Great Britain and somebody didn't catch it for a while.
UK rules allow 'cider' to be up to 8.5% I think. The legal definition of 'cider/hard cider' in the US is vague, inconsistent, and rather outdated, but you are correct about the basics.
To me, Cider is a fermented apple juice beverage in the 2.5%-10% ABV range with little to no chapetalization and commonly carbonated. Similar, but different to Apple Wine, which is typically 10%+ ABV and still. All other fermented fruit juices regardless of ABV are called Wines, expect for Perry, which is a cider made from pears.
Here's how I understand the terminology:
Hard Cider - US term only, referring to fermented apple juice. Not found abroad.
Cider - Abroad, this refers to a fermented apple juice. In the US it can refer to both raw juice and fermented apple juice (AKA hard cider).
Apple Juice - Abroad, this is raw, cloudy juice of the apple. In the US this usually refers to filtered & stabilized apple juice.
Personally, I think the foreign terminology makes more sense and that we in the US should get in line to avoid confusion. To foreigners 'hard cider' is redundant, much like saying 'ATM machine'.