Mulled apple cider is a festive combination of apple cider, seasonal spices, and fruit. Perfect for a holiday party or just a night with family, you can whip this up with a few simple ingredients you probably have at home!
When we lived in Wisconsin, the thing for me that signaled it was officially Fall was apple picking at a local orchard. After a chilly day of hard work, we stopped by the orchard shop and bought hot cider and apple cider donuts. Apple cider is nostalgic for me, so I keep some on hand in the fridge this time of year for a quick cozy drink. It’s easy to give apple cider a festive twist by infusing a few ingredients you probably already have at home!
Mulled Apple Cider Ingredients:
The key to this recipe is a good quality apple cider. Look for a local option and, if possible, buy fresh. If you don’t have an apple orchard nearby, check out a local farmer’s market or grocery store. Many grocery stores will have their own brand of fresh apple cider. We like a cider mix of sweet and tart apple varieties.
The beauty of mulled cider is that you can mix and match spices until you get the flavor you want. Typically, mulling spices combine whole cardamom, cinnamon, cassia, allspice, star anise, and cloves. You will also be surprised how few spices we use – a little goes a long way! I’m using Penzy’s Mulling Spices for this recipe, but you can also mix up your own (see the recipe.)
Please note: It’s important to use whole spices only. Powered spices are not fun to drink! If possible, place whole spices in a tea infuser or a food sachet, then add to the pot. If you don’t have either, you can strain the spices before serving or leave them in for a rustic look.
Brandy, Bourbon, Dark Rum (optional)
Make it boozy by stirring in a 1/4-1/2 cup of bourbon, brandy, or dark rum before serving, or just add a splash to your mug.
Garnish / Serveware
Serving this drink is half the fun, so make sure you have some pretty dishes and options for garnish. I made the mulled apple cider in my dutch oven and served it in a clear mug to show off the bright colors and garnish. Here are some ideas for garnish: cinnamon sticks, rosemary sprigs, orange slices, apple slices, fresh cranberries, or star anise. Enjoy!
Mulled Apple Cider
- 1/2 Gallon Apple Cider
- 1-2 TBS Penzy's Mulling Spices (See below for an alternative option)
- 1 Orange
- 2-4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1/4 Cup Bourbon, Brandy, or Dark Rum (optional) (Or keep it on the side and add a splash to your mug!)
- 1 Orange thinly sliced
- 6 Cinnamon sticks
MULLING SPICE ALTERNATIVE
- 1-2 tsp Whole Allspice Berries
- 1-2 tsp Whole Cloves
- Add apple cider to a 4-quart pot and set over medium-high heat.
- Place Mulling Spices in a tea infuser or spice bag. Add mulling spices, cinnamon sticks, and orange slices to apple cider.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove mulling spices and orange slices. Serve hot with an orange slice and cinnamon sticks. Store in refrigerator covered for up to 3 days.