Cider production: making process: what is cider?
Cider is an alcoholic drink made by the fermentation of apples. It has an alcoholic strength exceeding 1.2% abv but less than 8.5% abv. Cider may be still or sparkling. Perry is made from pears and is produced in exactly the same way as cider.
A full definition of cider is in ALDA section 1(6). The definition was extended in September 2010 to provide that the pre-fermentation mixture satisfies the pre-fermentation requirement and the cider satisfies the final product juice requirement. Further details on this can be found in section 30 of Notice 162 (GOV.UK).
A list of permitted cider and perry ingredients can be found in section 25 of Notice 162.
Cider is liable to UK excise duty once it has been made (that is, the point in fermentation when the strength first exceeds 1.2% abv) or when it is imported into the UK.
The relevant legislation is in ALDA section 62(1).
Excise duty is remitted on any cider not exceeding 1.2% abv.