While any variety of apple, and even other pome fruits such as pear or quince, may be used, certain cultivars are preferred in some regions, and may be known as cider apples. The drink varies in alcohol content from less than 3% ABV in French cidre doux to 8.5% ABV or above in traditional English ciders.
Cider is very popular in the United Kingdom, especially in South West England, in comparison to other countries. The UK has the highest per capita consumption as well as the largest cider producing companies in the world, including H. P. Bulmer, the largest. Overall, the UK produces 500 million litres (110 million imperial gallons) of cider per year.
The drink is also popular and traditional in Brittany (chistr) and Normandy (France) (cidre), Ireland and Asturias (sidra) and the Basque Country (sagardoa) of Spain and France. Pear cider is popular in Sweden and in Basse-Normandie (France) (poiré). The drink is making a resurgence in both Europe and the United States.