"If it's clear and yella', you got juice there fella', if it's tangy and brown, you're in cider town."
For years I relied on this distinction made by Nedward Flanders Jr., Homer Simpson's overtly religious, super-friendly, surprisingly well-hung-diddidly-ung next door neighbo-rino. And Flanders isn't wrong.
That's a useful (albeit brief) primer on the differences between America's top two (easily) apple-based, non-alcoholic beverages. But, on the precipice of fall, when the air is crisp and accented by the tender notes of pumpkin spice, I decided that a true explanation was in order: Aside from the Flanders-explained appearance, what is truly the difference between apple juice and apple cider?
It may not be the most pressing question in the world, but consider that Martinelli's, on their own website, admits that the only difference between their cider and their juice is the labeling. What? Is cider a lie? A marketing ploy by Big Apple (not to be confused with Big Apple) to sucker us into buying what is touted as a fall-centric drink?
We're going to get to the bottom of this -- particularly so you have a chunk of trivia to whip out during a wholesome-as-shit apple-picking session with your one true love.