Difference Between Cider Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar

While apple cider vinegar is made solely using apples as raw materials, cider vinegar – although usually made with apples- can also be made using other fruits like raspberries.

This means that while apple cider vinegar is always cider vinegar, all cider vinegars may not be apple ciders.

Cider Vinegar vs Apple Cider Vinegar

The main difference between cider vinegar and apple cider vinegar is in terms of the ingredients used to manufacture each. Although in common usage the two terms are used interchangeably, suggesting no real difference, there exist subtle dissimilarities that can be examined.

Cider vinegar vs Apple cider vinegar

Moreover, this seminal difference is made more pronounced by several other slight differences in taste, acidity and nutritional value of each.

Comparison Table Between Cider Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar

Parameters of ComparisonCider VinegarApple Cider Vinegar
Raw Material UsedThey can be made from a variety of fruits including strawberries, raspberries and apples.They are exclusively made from fresh apple juice.
TasteThe acidic sour taste of the vinegar is diluted with the flavor of the fruit used. The taste of the cider vinegar will be determined by the fruit used.The acidic sour taste of the vinegar is diluted with the flavor of the fresh apple juice used. Thus, it tastes like an acidic version of apple juice.
AcidityMaybe more acidic depending on the fruit used and its diluting power.May be less acidic due to the sweetening impact of the apple juice used.
Nutritional ValueThe nutritional value may be altered on the basis of the fruit or raw material used to make the cider.The nutritional value remains more or less constant because of the exclusive use apples.
ExclusivityAll cider vinegars are not apple cider vinegars.All apple cider vinegars are cider vinegars.

What is Cider Vinegar?

Cider vinegars are produced from a variety of fruits like strawberries, raspberries, apples, etc. The most common type of cider vinegar is made with an apple base.

Strawberry and raspberry cider vinegars are also common in the market. The juice of the fresh fruit is fermented using bacteria and yeast.

These agents reacts with the fructose of the fruit juice to produce acetic acid– that gives the sour acidic taste to the vinegar.

The alcohol produced undergoes further fermentation to finally produce cider vinegar. The secret to a really sour cider vinegar is to boost the fermentation process further by keeping the bacteria in the solution for a longer period of time.

Cider vinegars have several health benefits and can be consumed daily -after diluting its acidity with some water. Cider vinegar can be used as a wonderful sour addition to salad dressings. It can also be used to preserve and pickle food.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a cider vinegar made with a fermented base of apples. The dominant flavor in this version of the cider vinegar is apple. Much like cider vinegars, they too are made by the same process of fermentation of fruit juices.

However, here apple juice or apple cider is used exclusively for the fermentation process.

Apple cider vinegar can be organic or non-organic. The latter is a clear amber liquid that is often pasteurized. Organic apple cider vinegar is made by the addition of the ‘mother of the vinegar’- a fermenting agent- that produces a congeal appearance.

Multiple nutritional benefits are stored in this cloudy liquid that clarifies when pasteurized.  

They too embody the sour taste and medicinal benefits of other cider vinegar varieties. They can also be used for treating arthritis, skin acne, gout and other ailments.

The organic version is better for these purposes as the medicinal benefits are more pronounced in this version of the apple cider vinegar.

Main Differences Between Cider Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. The main difference between cider vinegar and apple cider vinegar is that the latter cannot be made without a fermented apple base. Cider vinegars can be produced by fermenting apples or other fruits or grains. Apple cider vinegar- as the name suggests- cannot be manufactured without using apples as raw materials for the process.
  2. Cider vinegar may taste a little different in terms of the fruit used to manufacture it. Apple cider vinegar always has an overpowering apple flavor added by the invariable use of apples for its production.
  3. The acidity of cider vinegars may be more pronounced than apple cider vinegars. This is because different manufacturers may add a variety of sweeteners to liquefy the acidic base of the vinegar. This dilutes the acidic taste to a certain extent.
  4. Apple cider vinegars may be organic or non-organic while cider vinegars do not usually have this distinction. For ciders, it depends on the kind of raw material used in the production of the vinegar base.
  5. The nutritional value of apple cider vinegars and cider vinegars may be different. This is due to the additional ingredients added to the processing of the respective vinegar varieties. When brands add certain sweeteners and flavoring material, the nutritional value of the product can get altered.
Difference Between Cider Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar


Cider vinegar and apple cider vinegar remain too closely associated to draw a definitively line of difference between the two. Both offer a long list of health benefits. Both are processed using the same method of fermentation.

The appearance of the two vinegar varieties is much too similar. However, a subtle difference exists in terms of the raw materials used to manufacture each.

While apples are exclusively used in the production of apple cider vinegars, other fruits –like strawberries or raspberries- can be used to manufacture cider vinegars.

This difference in raw materials leads to a difference in taste in accordance with the fruit used to produce the vinegar.

Moreover, brands adding supplementary ingredients may also tamper with the nutritional value of the cider vinegars. The acidic base of the cider vinegar is muted by the use of apples in the apple cider vinegar version.

This also affects the taste. However, overall both these vinegars are used interchangeably in salad dressing preparations and for their medicinal benefits.

The terms are used interchangeably by brands as well. However, one must be vigilant enough to check the ingredients list of the product before purchasing it from the supermarket

to be sure that the variety of cider vinegar being purchased is made from the individual’s preferred fruit.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0044848619312360
  2. https://www.academia.edu/download/35973351/49.pdf
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