(WHTM) — Do you prefer apple juice or apple cider?

Before answering that question, let’s dive into the differences between them.

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

But other than apple juice and cider tasting and looking different, it’s how they are made that differentiates them.

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 sweeter and allows for a longer shelf life.

According to the food website Does It Go Bad, the shelf life of unopened, chilled apple juice should be between three to six months. The site also states that once opened, the juice will last up to three weeks. If you buy store-refrigerated apple juice, the website says, 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. This is the reason consumers may see residue at the bottom of the drink (the best solution is to shake the bottled cider to mix).

Apple cider, which has a shorter shelf life than apple juice, can be difficult to find outside of the fall season, which coincides with apple season.

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, which contain alcohol, won’t go bad, but they will lose some taste over one to two years.

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