You can freeze apple cider, as it keeps frozen very well, and doing so doesn’t mess with the flavor. Freezing is a great way to preserve apple cider, so you can always have some on hand.
In this article, I’ll discuss how long apple cider can be frozen, how to freeze it, and how to thaw it correctly. I’ll also go over some other questions you may have regarding freezing the cider.
How Long Can Apple Cider Be Frozen?
Apple cider can be frozen for about one year, but it shouldn’t exceed 18 months. After this time, the taste and quality of the cider begin to change. Therefore, you need to label your frozen apple cider to keep up with the date.
The only known issue with freezing apple cider regarding taste is that it may taste a bit watered down after enough time has passed. It’s not significant enough to taste bad, though, so the taste and quality are still decent overall.
Why would you want to freeze apple cider? Here are a few things it can be used for:
- When freezing small amounts, you can use it as an ingredient in a smoothie for a more fall-like flavor.
- Some add it to their favorite marinades for chicken or beef because it compliments the other spices well.
- Cider can be used in certain sauces if you wish to do so, such as pasta sauce or dipping sauce.
- If you’re a fan of iced coffee, you can use apple cider cubes to add to your coffee for a great fall flavor. Adding apple pie spices can turn your iced coffee into something truly spectacular.
Can You Freeze Unpasteurized Apple Cider?
You can freeze unpasteurized apple cider and preserve it for a long time. Because it’s 100% natural, unpasteurized apple cider can be stored for quite some time. If you don’t freeze it, unpasteurized apple cider can still last several weeks in the refrigerator.
You should never leave your apple cider outside the fridge for longer than a few hours, as it can go bad relatively quickly when left out. However, remember that unpasteurized apple cider can be dangerous to drink.
Since it hasn’t been treated, there’s a possibility of contamination by bacteria. According to the Canadian government, there have been known cases of people drinking unpasteurized cider and becoming sick due to Salmonella and E. Coli.
How Long Does Apple Cider Last in the Fridge?
Apple cider lasts for up to two weeks in the fridge. It doesn’t have a very long shelf life, so you’ll want to drink it fast. If you drink it past the two-week expiration date, the taste will begin to change and won’t be as fresh any longer.
However, if it’s unopened, it may last a few days past the 2-week mark. You’ll know if it’s gone bad when you open it.
Apple cider will eventually ferment, so you’ll want to keep it in its original container with a tight seal lid. If you move the cider to a pitcher, it’ll generate more oxygen, causing it to go bad quicker.
Of course, if you like the taste of fermented cider, this might be alright. However, we don’t recommend it.
If you have friends over for dinner and want everything to look nice, putting apple cider in a pitcher is okay, as long as you drink all or most of it that day. The oxygen takes a while to ruin it, so one day won’t affect the flavor.
How Do You Preserve Fresh Apple Cider?
There are several ways you can freeze fresh apple cider to preserve it, ensuring you have apple cider on hand whenever you need it.
You can preserve apple cider by freezing it in a jar, bottle, ice cube tray, popsicle mold, or silicone muffin tray. This allows you to have pre-measured amounts of apple cider ready for cooking.
Let’s explore these preservation options a little more so that you know which way works best for you.
Put Fresh Apple Cider in a Jar/Bottle
To do this, follow these steps:
- Before freezing, you’ll want the apple cider to be at room temperature.
- Whether in a jar or a bottle, you’ll want to pour the cider into it but only fill it ¾ of the way full. This is so there’s room for the liquid to expand when it freezes.
- After that, ensure your lid is on tightly, so there’s no spilling.
- Put the date on your jars or bottles so that you know the day you froze them, which will prevent using them past the expiration date.
These wide mouth mason jars found on Amazon will get the job done if you need some jars. They are simple and have a screw-top lid for a tight seal, so you’ll never have to worry about your apple cider going bad prematurely.
Put Fresh Apple Cider in an Ice Cube Tray
If you’re planning on using apple cider for baking or an iced coffee, you may only need small amounts at once.
An excellent way to do this is to freeze it in an ice cube tray. Don’t fill each cube up all the way, but leave a little room at the top for it to expand. After it’s completely frozen, it’s safe to remove them from the tray and put them into a freezer bag.
Before pouring out the cider, you can always measure it so that you know how many cubes are equivalent to a specific measurement. For example, 1 cup (0.23 L) of apple cider fills up 4 cubes.
The ice cube trays are a perfect choice if you need trays. Since they’re silicone, they’re much easier to use, and they come in various colors.
Put Fresh Apple Cider in a Muffin Mold
You can also use silicone muffin molds to make bigger portions of apple cider readily available. You’ll want to do it the same way as the ice cube trays and only fill them up ¾ of the way. And afterward, put them in a container of your choosing to store in the freezer.
As mentioned above, you can use silicone muffin molds to freeze your apple cider.
These Amazon reusable silicone baking cups are affordable and come in various colors. These can be put in the freezer by themselves, and you don’t even need a muffin pan.
If you don’t want separate silicone molds, then you can use a muffin tray that’s complete silicone. These silicone muffin pans easily fit into your freezer and, if you have multiples, can be stacked on top of one another.
Put Fresh Apple Cider in a Popsicle Mold
Another way to freeze apple cider is by using popsicle molds, which is the perfect way to preserve apple cider if you want it as a popsicle for you or the kids. Otherwise, you can add more ingredients for an even better-tasting popsicle.
Zoku Mod Pops is a great choice as far as popsicle molds go. It comes with everything you need to make the popsicles, and all you need to do is pour the cider or cider mixture and pop it into the freezer.
Is it Safe to Freeze Apple Cider?
It’s safe to freeze apple cider. It freezes very well, and there are no health or safety concerns about freezing it. The only problem is when you keep it frozen past the recommended time because once it goes bad, it won’t taste great and could make you sick.
All ingredients go bad eventually, so even if it stays frozen for 3 years, for example, you still shouldn’t thaw it out and use it once it’s past the expiration date.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Apple Cider Correctly?
To thaw frozen apple cider correctly, place jars or bottles of the apple cider in a bowl and put it in the refrigerator. The apple cider will gradually defrost, and the bowl will collect any moisture in case of a leak.
This is the best way to thaw it out, as it won’t mess with the flavor or consistency. It’s not recommended to microwave the frozen apple cider as this might mess with the taste or texture. However, you can microwave the cider if you’re using it for cooking.
Thawing frozen apple cider is super easy, but it can sometimes be time-consuming, depending on your reason for thawing it:
- If you’re thawing out a few ice cubes or molds for drinking, put them in the refrigerator, as mentioned above.
- If you’re using them for cooking, you can pop them in the pan because they’ll melt into your cooking. You can also microwave them for a quicker thaw.
- If you’re using them in a drink, just put them in the glass, pour whatever beverage you want, or toss them into the blender.
It’s easy to thaw out apple cider, but ensure you give the cider enough time to thaw.
Why Does Apple Juice Say Do Not Freeze?
Apple juice says do not freeze because the added sugars in store-bought juice have a freezing point different from the rest of the ingredients. As a result, when frozen, it can transform the sugars into syrup, making it challenging to blend the juice when thawed.
When buying apple juice from the store, it’s recommended not to freeze it because it can cause it to separate, but if you don’t mind these challenges, you can freeze it. It just might not taste as good.
Apple juice will taste best when kept refrigerated, but after a while, it’ll begin to ferment and turn into apple cider. Therefore, it’s important that you store your apple juice in the refrigerator once you’ve opened it.
Apple juice has the same storage life as apple cider, so it should be good to drink for up to two weeks when stored correctly.
Does Apple Cider Turn Into Alcohol?
Apple cider does turn into alcohol. You should only drink cider for up to two weeks after opening because the fermentation process will start soon after. Once the cider becomes carbonated, it’s a sure sign that it’s on its way to becoming alcohol.
According to Spoon University, the more oxygen in the container, the more yeast will mix with the sugars. When you see a change in color and the cider becomes frothy, this is a sure sign it’s fermenting, and the cider will also have a strong sour smell to it.
The cider will turn into vinegar if it ferments for a very long time and goes past the alcohol threshold.
Two weeks after the expiration date, the cider should become an alcoholic cider, and you can drink it. However, it may not taste the best since it is fermented on its own.
You can aid the fermentation process to make your own alcoholic cider, which will probably taste better and not as bitter. If you’re interested in making your own, here’s a YouTube tutorial by Northern Brewer on how to do so:
Additionally, if you want your cider to ferment and become alcohol, you shouldn’t freeze it at this stage, as it won’t completely freeze due to the chemical components changing into alcohol.
Therefore, make sure you keep this cider in the fridge.
Apple cider can be frozen in numerous ways that won’t compromise quality. Sometimes freezing can lead to a watered-down taste, but that’s not always the case. You can freeze apple cider for up to 18 months.
Apple cider only lasts about 2 weeks in the fridge, but after that, it will begin to ferment and eventually become alcoholic cider.
You can freeze apple cider in silicone molds or jars to preserve it, but make sure you date the container to avoid using expired apple cider. Freezing cider doesn’t warrant any health risks, but it can expand and burst.
For more, check out Is Honey a Good Survival Food? (How to Store It).
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.