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Mulled Cider: a cozy warming drink recipe to enjoy when it’s cold outside

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist


fresh, unfiltered non-alcoholic apple cider
1/2 gallon
whole cloves
Cinnamon sticks
allspice berries
Ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp
whole cardamom pods
Brown sugar
2 to 3 tbsp

There's nothing like a soothing cup of homemade hot mulled cider when the weather dips. Mulled cider is super easy to make and it's a wonderfully festive drink you can serve on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time the mood strikes during fall and winter.

Mulling the cider means it's heated with spices, sugar, and other ingredients to create a spicy, sweet, fragrant hot beverage. You can easily customize your mulled cider – add alcohol or make a booze-free version, add a variety of fruits, or use your favorite mulling spices to create a customize spice blend. If you're looking for an effortless beverage to make that's full of flavor, mulled cider is definitely for you!

What Spices to Use for Mulled Cider?

Any type of warming baking spices works well in mulled cider. Cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg are all wonderful. You can also add ginger, vanilla bean, and star anise are lovely as well.

Best Apple Cider for Hot Mulled Cider

The best apple cider for mulled cider is fresh, unfiltered, and sweet. Use non-alcoholic apple cider – if you want to, you can spike your mulled cider with alcohol, or you can leave out the booze so everyone can enjoy it.

How to Make Mulled Cider

To make hot mulled cider, start by simmering the apple cider in a pot over medium-high heat. Grab your vegetable peeler and peel wide strips off the orange, then slice the orange into quarters. Put all of the ingredients into the cider, then turn down the heat. Pop the lid on the pot and let the cider simmer for 20 minutes. Remember, the longer you cook the cider, the more flavorful it will be. Once you're ready to serve it, strain the cider through a sieve to remove the orange and spices. Adding a bit of booze to your cider? Now is the time to do it. Finish your cider off with a cinnamon stick garnish, and a slice of orange, if you're feeling fancy.

Tips for the Best Mulled Cider

If your mulled cider is too sweet, add lemon juice to it. The acidity will balance out the sweetness.

Use whole spices rather than ground spices for your mulled cider. To get more flavor out of them, lightly toast them for a minute or so before adding them to the cider.

If you want to add alcohol to your cider, bourbon, rum, calvados, brandy or fruit brandy, and spiced rum all complement the flavors in mulled cider.

To make mulled cider in the slow cooker, cook it for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Cooking mulled cider low and slow also helps it to stay clear and will infuse it with more flavor.

To make hot mulled cider in an Instant Pot, add all the ingredients in your pressure cooker, and cook on high for 10 to 15 minutes, followed by a natural release. Serve hot.

How to Serve Mulled Cider

Serve your hot mulled cider in mugs or mason jars with handles. Garnish the cider with cinnamon sticks or slices of orange, if desired.

Can You Store Hot Mulled Cider?

Of course! Transfer cooled mulled cider to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Just reheat it on the stovetop when you're ready to enjoy it again.

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Simmer the apple cider in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Peel large, thick strips off the orange, and cut the orange into quarters.

Place all of the ingredients into the cider, lower the heat, and cover the pot with a lid. Let everything simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain the cider through a fine-mesh sieve. If you're adding alcohol, pour it into the strained cider. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and orange slices if desired, and serve hot.


Adjust the sugar levels depending on your preferences.

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