(WHTM) – Do you prefer apple juice or apple cider? Do you only prefer apple cider once fall arrives? Are apple-flavored items better than pumpkin spice?

Before answering any of those questions, let’s dive into what the difference is between apple juice and apple cider.

The most obvious difference is the color as apple juice is lighter in color while apple cider is darker in color.

But other than apple juice and cider tasting and looking different, it’s how they are made that makes the two differently unique.

Apple juice and apple cider are both pressed fresh apples, but that is where the similarities stop.

The Kitchn states that apple juice is filtered and has added preservatives such as sugar. This makes apple juice more sweet and it will also have a longer shelf-life.

According to Does It Go Bad, the shelf-life of unopened, chilled apple juice should last between three to six months and they also state that once opened the juice will last up to three weeks. If you buy store-refrigerated apple juice, Does It Go Bad says that you should go by the labeled “use-by” date.

Southern Living says that apple cider also uses pressed apples, but unlike apple juice, the pressed apple is unfiltered and unpasteurized which can lead to consumers seeing residue at the bottom of the drink (the best solution is to shake the bottled cider to mix that residue.)

Apple cider can be hard to find outside of the fall season and has a shorter shelf-life than apple juice.

If the apple cider isn’t used in around two weeks, the cider can start to ferment and become apple cider vinegar or alcoholic cider. Southern Living also says that apple cider should be refrigerated at all times.

According to Spoon University, hard ciders won’t go bad, but they will lose some taste over one to two years.

Spoon University says that the best thing to do with apple cider that is close to “expiring” is to use it in fall cocktails and recipes.