Japanese Cider vs. Soda Drinks: What’s the Difference?

Cider, represented as サイダー in Japanese, reminds people of a drink or beverage, but what the word means differs by country. 

Today, I learned from the Wikipedia article サイダー that, in Britain and France, cider or cidre refers to an alcoholic beverage made from fermented apples, 

while cider can stand for an unfermented, nonalcoholic juice squeezed from apples in North America.

Cider vs. Soda drinks in Japan

Then, what is the definition of cider (サイダー) in Japan, and how does it differ from soda (ソーダ) drinks?

As I also researched these, let me share the result this time.

Soda (ソーダ)

Soda Water

Soda as a drink is the abbreviation of soda-sui (ソーダ水: meaning soda water), which is sparkling water.

Unflavored soda water is known as plain soda, used to dilute Western liquor in Japan.

Cider (サイダー)

Asahi Mitsuya Cider

Japanese cider is a nonalcoholic, carbonated beverage.

It is a soft drink of soda water sweetened with sugar, acidified with citric acid, and flavored with fruit flavoring (not limited to apple) or the like.

Japan’s most loved and best-selling cider brand is Mitsuya Cider from Asahi Soft Drinks, and the Ramune drink is also a variety of cider.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia サイダー, Kotobank ソーダ水 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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