One of the questions I see the most regarding keto diets is what you can drink as far as booze. The short answer is that beer is out, hard liquor is in, and wine are sort of provisionally in. I say “provisionally” because it really comes down to the style in which they wine is made. It runs a continuum from keto-busting sweet to totally bone dry. Hard cider is much the same situation, but there are few if any options as far as “keto hard apple cider” in stores.
So, why is that? I think there is an excellent answer, but for that answer to make sense, we need to talk a little about wine.
There is a lot of terrible information “out there” attesting to varieties of wine being “keto” or not. All varieties of grapes can be made into wines of varying sweetnesses by adjusting the point where fermentation is halted, leaving varying amounts of what is called “residual sugar”.
The best way to know exactly how much sugar you are consuming is do a little research online. Many makers now publish residual sugar information on a wine “tech sheet”. Here is an example sheet for J Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon, which has a residual sugar amount of .2g/100ml, or 1.5g for the entire bottle.
So, wine is fermented grape juice. Hard apple cider is fermented apple juice. Why are there lots of really dry, keto-friendly wine and little in the way of keto hard apple cider?
The answer is the same reason why there are still so many sweet wines. It can soften the edges of a borderline wine and hide its flaws. Or in other words, sugar tastes good to (most) people.
The same rules apply to a potential keto hard apple cider. Sweet ciders sell, and with it being a much smaller total market for it, no one has broken through to mass-market success with a super low sugar, keto hard apple cider.
So, I did what I always do. I said, “Screw it. I’ll make my own.”
I’m going to do something a little bit different for this recipe. I’m going to post my planned procedure and then update everyone on social media on the run up to Thanksgiving (when I traditionally make hard cider) as to how things are going.
To shoot for the lowest possible residual sugar numbers (effectively zero), I opted for champagne yeast which should consume all the sugar in the apple juice except for some trace unfermentable sugars. At that point, I plan on testing a few different versions with different amounts/types of sweeteners and flavorings. So, I basically am going to be drinking a lot in your name. I’m a giver.