This festive Hot Mulled Cider recipe is a warm and cozy way to kick off the fall season. Apple cider is slowly simmered to infuse fresh citrus flavors and seasonal spices like cinnamon and cloves.
Hot Mulled Cider Recipe
Sipping a hot mug of Mulled Apple Cider is the perfect way to celebrate cozy season. To make this recipe, we take apple cider, a little orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar, and then slowly simmer the ingredients in a large pot with warm fall flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and star anise.
The longer Mulled Cider simmers, the stronger and more delicious the flavor becomes, so feel free to let it cook for the better part of the day. Since Mulled Cider emits the most heavenly aroma while it cooks, you’ll likely be making this warm drink all fall and winter long. While this recipe is alcohol-free, feel free to spike it with your favorite rum, bourbon, or whiskey.
Mulled Apple Cider Ingredients
- Apple Cider - you can use any apple juice or apple cider for this Mulled Apple Cider.
- Orange Juice - use either store-bought or fresh-squeezed orange juice.
- Lemon Juice - this balances out the sweetness and flavors really nicely.
- Sugar - this recipe calls for granulated sugar, but brown sugar would also be great.
- Cinnamon Sticks - the flavor of slowly simmered cinnamon sticks truly can’t be beat. But, if you don’t have any whole cinnamon sticks, mix in about 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon.
- Whole Cloves - simmering whole cloves adds a lot of flavor, but it doesn’t overpower the drink. If you want to substitute ground cloves, add about ¼ teaspoon.
- Star Anise - you don't need much star anise to add a ton of flavor. It is so festive and delicious, and also makes a great garnish. Allspice berries would be a great ingredient to add or substitute for star anise.
- Oranges and Lemons - to prepare, wash the rinds in water then slice them whole into ⅓-1/2” slices. The lemon and orange peel add quite a bit of flavor so leave them on while it cooks.
How to Make Mulled Cider Recipe
Slow Cooker Mulled Cider Recipe
- Add ingredients to the slow cooker. Add the apple cider, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and star anise in a slow cooker. Mix, then add the sliced oranges and lemons.
- Cook. Cover, then cook on low for 5-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours until hot and very fragrant.
- Strain. Strain through a piece of cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, then return to the slow cooker.
- Serve. Serve warm. Enjoy!
Stovetop Mulled Cider Recipe
- Add ingredients to a large pot. Add the apple cider, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and star anise in a large pot. Mix together, then add the sliced oranges and lemons.
- Bring to a simmer. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer over medium-low heat and continue to simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 4-8 hours.
- Strain. Strain through a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, then return to the pot.
- Serve. Serve warm. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations for Hot Mulled Cider
Whether you prefer a citrusy twist, a spicy kick, or a touch of indulgence, there's a mulled cider variation for everyone to enjoy.
- Spiced Orange: Add a burst of citrusy goodness to your mulled cider by incorporating fresh orange slices. Simply slice up a few oranges and add them to the simmering cider.
- Add Ginger: For a warm and zingy kick, consider adding fresh ginger to your mulled cider. Peel and slice a thumb-sized piece of ginger and add it to the pot. The heat from the ginger will complement the sweetness of the cider beautifully.
- Apple Cranberry: Add a handful of cranberries to the warm cider recipe. The tartness of the cranberries will balance out the sweetness of the cider, creating a delightful flavor combination.
- Add Vanilla: For a touch of indulgence, try adding a splash of vanilla extract to your mulled cider. The vanilla will enhance the overall flavor profile and add a subtle, creamy note. Just a little goes a long way, so be sure to taste and adjust accordingly.
- Rum Raisin: For a boozy twist, stir in a handful of plump raisins and a splash of rum. The rum adds a rich, boozy flavor while the raisins impart a chewy texture and hint of sweetness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mulled Cider and Wassail are essentially both warm spiced apple cider drinks. However, the main difference is that Mulled Cider is typically made with just apple cider, and sometimes orange and lemon juice. On the other hand, Wassail often has another fruit juice added, such as pineapple juice or cranberry juice.
You can keep leftover Mulled Cider in the fridge for up to 1 week. Make sure you don’t put a large pot of hot Mulled Cider into your refrigerator! Allow it to cool completely first, then store it in an airtight container.
This version of Mulled Cider doesn’t contain alcohol. However, to make this mulled cider alcoholic, feel free to add your favorite kind of rum, whiskey, or bourbon.
Absolutely! The crock pot is a great way to make Mulled Cider since it takes so long to cook. Add all of your ingredients and cook on low for 5-8 hours. Once it is super fragrant and hot, strain, then serve warm.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigerator: store cooled Mulled Apple Cider in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- To reheat: transfer Mulled Apple Cider to a large pot and reheat over medium until warmed through. You could also add a single serving to a mug and reheat in a microwave on high for about 2 minutes, stirring in between.
Hot Mulled Cider Recipe
- 2 quarts Apple Cider or Apple Juice
- 1 cup Orange Juice
- ¼ cup Lemon Juice
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 3 large Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 teaspoon Whole Cloves
- 2 large Star Anise
- 1 small Orange sliced
- 1 small Lemon sliced
- In a large pot, add the apple cider (or apple juice), orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and star anise. Mix together, then add the sliced orange and lemon.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer over medium low heat and continue to simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 4-8 hours.
- Strain through a piece of cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, then return to the pot.
- Ladle into mugs and serve warm. Enjoy!
More Easy Drink Recipes to Try
- Holiday Punch
- Caramel Apple Punch
- Strawberry Orange Julius
- Disney Dole Whip
- Crockpot Hot Chocolate
- More Winter Recipes
- More Holiday Favorites
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This Mulled Apple Cider recipe is a delicious warm drink to serve during the fall and winter. It's made by slowly simmering apple cider along with fresh citrus and baking spices.