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Mulled Apple Cider

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Mulled apple cider is a warm fall drink, perfect for removing the chill from your bones!  It’s an easy drink to make and yet, special enough to serve to company. 

With holiday parties on the horizon, it’s time to plan for some terrific food and drinks, and Hot Apple Cider is clearly a winning choice.

Hot apple cider in a white mug a slice of orange to garnish

Mulled Apple Cider

Our winters are chilly around here, and I sip on hot tea day in and day out to keep warm. Miss Izzy, our lab puppy, loves to sit on my feet and that, too, helps keep me toasty. When I had a group of nearly 50 of my volunteer friends over for a coffee, we had the requisite pot of coffee brewing, a teapot filled with piping hot water, and a pot of fragrant and delicious mulled apple cider.

It took only minutes to prepare, but my friends went back for seconds and more. It was a huge hit! Fast forward to 2020, and I served this to some girlfriends who gathered on my driveway on a chilly October morning. Again, rave reviews. And it’s so easy to make as I reassured a girlfriend who wanted to make it later in the week.

Mulled Apple Cider in a stock pot with orange slices and spices

 

What is Mulled Cider???

The word mulled is a British term for wine heated with sugar and spices, which was most often served around Christmas. It has expanded to mean more than just alcoholic beverages, but hot drinks like this cider enhanced with fruit and spices.

How to Make Mulled Cider

This mulled apple cider recipe is totally customizable to your tastes. But no matter what you add to your cider, the process of making mulled cider is very easy. There are seasoning packets you can buy, but it’s so darn easy to make, that once you give it ago, it will become a cold-weather tradition!

  • Add cider, spices, vanilla and orange slices to a large pot. 
  • Bring to a simmer and gently cook for 15-20 minutes. Taste and add sugar if needed. Serve hot with a cinnamon stick or orange slice in each mug.
  • You can move the mulled cider to a slow cooker to keep warm for your guests if desired.

Tips for Making Hot Apple Cider:

  • First, make sure you have all the ingredients. A good brand of apple cider is key. You may not have whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla pod, and especially any star anise in your kitchen. You can definitely customize your apple cider mulling spices, but I love this combination.
  • You can always use a pinch or two of ground cloves and a little vanilla extract to substitute for the whole spices. But try to pick up some cinnamon sticks and star anise as they look beautiful floating in the serving vessel.
  • Of course, you can always leave out the cloves or star anise if that’s your preference.
  • A couple of lemon slices (or peel) can be added in addition to the oranges, but make sure to taste for sweetness.
  • If you’d rather add honey to sweeten instead of sugar, go for it.
  • And for an adult gathering, feel free to pour in some rum!
  • Serve it up with some shortbread cookies or scones for a special treat.

I hope you enjoy this hot toddy as much as my friends and I did. Whip up some mulled apple cider for your next fall or winter gathering!

Mulled Apple Cider topped with an orange slice in a round mug

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  • Kitchen staples: sugar
  • Apple cider (I adore Northcoast Organic’s Apple Cider)
  • Cloves
  • Star anise
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Allspice
  • Vanilla bean pod
  • Naval orange
Mulled Apple Cider collage with a photo and a text box
Hot apple cider in a white mug a slice of orange to garnish

Mulled Apple Cider

This jazzed up apple cider makes for a terrific autumn or winter drink.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 16

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • A pinch of allspice
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split
  • 1 naval orange, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar, optional

Instructions

  1. Pour apple cider into large pot. Add spices, vanilla bean and orange slices. Heat to just a simmer and let cook on low to allow the flavors to meld for about 15-20 minutes. Taste and add sugar if desired.
  2. Serve hot.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 mug

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 0g

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Mulled Apple Cider | Hot cider flavored with vanilla, oranges and warm autumn spices. Perfect for holiday parties, apres ski parties or anytime you need to warm your soul
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