difficulty rating: pint
we started some hard apple cider as one of the wine experiments and since then i've done it a couple of times. it is by far the easiest booze i've made and it's very tasty. something like a cross between mead and beer. it only takes a month and i even got good results with no-name brand apple juice and brown sugar. the first time i got drunk on this i woke up the next day not hungover, still drunk. it's a bit harsh and beer-y at first sip but is mellow a the second sip and soon tastes like more, as in, i want more of that. you simply take a gallon of good apple juice from the green grocer (comes in a nice sterile glass jug which is now your carboy), pour out a little to make some space, add a cup and a half of sugar(white or brown or whatever), and a pkg of champagne yeast from the homebrewing store. shake the crap out of it, top up with the reserved juice to an inch and a half from the top if needed, then replace the lid with a balloon that you've poked a few holes in. leave it in the closet for 3 weeks, then siphon it into pop bottles (sterilized with bleach and soap, rinsed very well. they can take the carbonation, wine bottles can't) leaving the sediment at the bottom out, and add another cup of sugar. cap it and leave it for another week. ta dah! chill it before serving and go start another batch, you'll want more. i did a 4 gallon batch in a water cooler jug (sterilized) with no-name apple juice and brown sugar and it turned out just fine too. you can use one pkg of champagne yeast for up to 5 gallons of cider so the 4 gallon one cost me around $20 and gave me 8 2-liter bottles. pretty damn good i say! i haven't measured but i'd say the alcohol content ends up around 10%, certainly higher then beer but not quite as high as some wines.