I have made and drunk so much of this stuff. Depending on the quality of the apple cider you use and how long you leave it to mature, your hard cider will come out one of two ways:
Strong, gets the job done, but swallow it quick, OR, strong and wow that actually tastes great!
You can be drinking your hard cider within the week, but for the best results you want to leave it for 3-4 weeks. Likewise, this can be made very cheaply with low cost apple cider, but the very best results come from the higher quality apple cider.
A word of warning – if you drink this stuff like you drink beer, you will be on your back pretty quickly. This stuff is nearer the strength of wine than it is beer…
If you want you want to have a go making your own hard cider, Greene Deane from Eat The Weeds has written a great article which includes details on how to make your own hard cider.
(Photo from: Eat The Weeds)