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Mulled cider recipe

Mulled cider recipe

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Gleneagles was delighted to support the regeneration of their local Carse O'Gowrie orchard which supplies the apples in all of their cider. Here they share their original recipe which can be made hot and chilled as well as non-alcoholic if readers wish.

6 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • peel from two clementines or one large orange
  • peel from one unwaxed lemon
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 50ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1L good quality cider
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Place all the ingredients, except the cider and maple syrup, in a saucepan and heat, stirring well until the lemon juice starts to sizzle.
  2. Add the cider and maple syrup and continue to heat over a low to medium flame for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, do not allow to boil.
  3. Pour your liquid through a fine strainer to remove the cloves, cinnamon stick and any other solids. Pour into serving glasses and serve hot.


This will keep in the fridge for up to three days and can simply be reheated and served when required, it's also delicious chilled and served over ice. For a non-alcoholic alternative, replace cider with one litre of good quality cloudy fresh apple juice.

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Spiced Mulled Apple Cider Recipe

Why It Works

  • Assembling a custom blend of fresh spices, rather than relying on a jar of generic "mulling spice," translates to more powerful flavor.
  • Cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, cloves, and star anise all work together well to bring out the natural flavor of apples.
  • Toasted whole spices provide better flavor than ground and are easier to remove from the cider.
  • Just a spoonful of alcohol enhances the cider's fruitiness, without making it overly boozy.

There's more to mulling good cider than swirling in a couple sticks of cinnamon. This spice blend yields a balanced, flavorful cider while remaining true to the base flavor of apples. You can customize it to your own tastes (using more brandy, for example, for a harder brew), but the star anise, coriander, and cardamom—all friends of apples—are what make it stand out.

This recipe is formulated for a small batch of cider you can multiply it if need be, though your steeping time may vary.

Mulled Cider

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate&mdashone should have all the standard warm beverages on hand during the holiday season. But why not make your guests feel that much more special by serving our recipe for mulled cider? Simply simmer apple cider with a few choice ingredients (spices! citrus!), add some hooch and you&rsquore done. Bonus: Your home will smell amazing.

4 strips orange zest (about 1 inch long)

2 strips lemon zest (about 1 inch long)

1. In a large pot, bring the cider to a simmer. Add the orange and lemon zests, cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise, and simmer for 5 minutes or until very fragrant.

2. Turn off the heat, then cover the pot and let steep for 15 minutes. After the cider has steeped, place a strainer over a bowl and pour the cider through the strainer to remove the zest and spices. Return the strained cider to the pot and bring it back to a simmer.

3. If using the rum, place 1 shot in the bottom of a mug and top with a ladleful of warm cider. Repeat with the remaining mugs. If not using rum, simply ladle warm cider into mugs. If desired, garnish each mug with additional spices before serving.

  • I serve my Mulled Cider in these heatproof mugs from Amazon. They are about £6 for a set of 4 and I’ve had mine for years and the children love using them too as they are chunky and sturdy (obviously not for mulled cider!).

  • I bought this slow cooker (crock pot if you’re in the USA) last year and our love affair continues!I’ve never been a big slow cooker fan but this has made such a difference, I’ve used it SO much. It’s light and easy to lift, really affordable too and the pan can be used on the hob as well as in the slow cooker, hurrah! Available from Amazon: Morphy Richards Sear and Stew Slow Cooker.It’s currently about £23 instead of £32.

If you're making this for a party, it's worth getting the good apple cider. I'm a little spoiled because I get it from the Amish. It's so fresh, it barely has time to chill before I buy it.

Buying a good apple cider will make all of the difference for this recipe. You want to use apple cider and not apple juice. Apple juice won't give you the right flavor or texture.

Look for apple cider that's dark and cloudy. This will have the best flavor. It should be in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

My store keeps it in a cooler near the apples in the produce section.

Local and unpasteurized apple cider will give the best flavor. Don't worry about it being unpasteurized because you'll be cooking it in the slow cooker for a while.

Step it up: make spiked mulled cider!

This mulled cider is fabulous on it’s own, but you can step it up by stirring in rum at the end! The rum adds a bit of warmth and takes it to another level. Spiked mulled cider is the perfect party drink! If you’re serving a party where not everyone is drinking, you could also leave out the rum and let guests add a splash to their own drinks. The quantity in the recipe below adds only ½ tablespoon rum per glass: so all you need is a small swig!

Crock Pot Mulled Cider

Mulled Apple Cider should be named the official drink of fall. This Crock Pot version is special since it keeps the cider nice and warm when you’re entertaining during the holidays, tailgating or just taking things nice and slow on a chilly day.

When fall arrives, my thoughts turn to the holidays. I love all the traditions that surround Thanksgiving, Christmas and of ringing in a New Year. I also adore all the food and treats that somehow seem a little more special during these times. Mulled cider is one of those treats. A mug of warm cider, sweetened with a bit of brown sugar then spiced up with cinnamon, allspice and cloves is the perfect drink for the season.

Over the years, I’ve made many, many pots of mulled cider. Since I’ve made it so many times, I believe I’ve developed just the right combination of flavors. A subtle mix of sweetness from brown sugar along with warm spices and fresh fruit makes the consummate mug of mulled cider. So that all the flavors of my cider have time to “mull together” I use my Crock Pot. How ingenious is that idea?

All you do is load up the Crock Pot with your ingredients, give it a stir and wait a couple of hours. That’s it. Now, here’s a little secret. There’s an added bonus to making this cider…you house will smell delicious! There will be no way you’ll be able to resist a mugful.

When we’re having folks over for the holidays, I always have my trusty slow cooker full of mulled cider. I place out pretty mugs, extra fruit slices and let everyone serve themselves. I also let the grown-ups make their own version by spiking it with some good Kentucky bourbon. This recipe is great to have on hand for Halloween, while you’re giving out treats, while you’re enjoying football on a Sunday afternoon or while binge watching your favorite show. Actually, there’s so many reasons to make a big batch of mulled cider, but who’s counting? I’m just happy to enjoy it, sip after sip.

Start With a Good Cider

Making your own apple cider is easy. Find some good apples, core but don’t peel them, and chop them in a food processor. Strain the chopped apples, and you have just made cider!

Finding good apples may be the hardest part of making mulled cider. Use organic if at all possible. You don’t want sour apples, so a Lakeland or a Duchess is not a good choice. Honeycrisp yields a lot of juice and holds its shape well. Softer apples will yield more applesauce as the cellular structure breaks down pretty quickly. Some other good choices would be Pink Lady, Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, and Jonagold. Here is a full list of recommended apples for making cider.

Harder keeping apples like Wolf River or Arkansas Black may work for mulled cider if you cook them partially first.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the apples or partially cook them to extract more juice. Place the apple pieces in cheesecloth and squeeze to get all of the juice.

Alternatively, you can purchase a good unpasteurized, organic cider to use if you don’t want to make your own.

What is Mulled Cider?

Cider is considered mulled when you add a sweetener and spices and cook it for a while. Apple cider has naturally high water content, so cooking it down will concentrate the flavors. I use brown sugar or honey for my recipe, but you can use any sugar or sweetener. Just be sure to add a little at first, then taste it to see if you want more. Apples are naturally sweet, so you may not need much.

As far as spices go, there are many to choose from for making mulled cider. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger are all good choices for mulled cider. I add a bit of allspice and cayenne to mine for a unique flavor. You can use whole herbs and strain them out before serving, or you can use a muslin bag for all your mulling spices. I reuse my spices several times, freezing the bag between uses.

Citrus fruits also go well with mulled cider. Orange or lemon slices add flavor and look pretty as well.

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I made this for a Christmas party, following the advice from Katwawa comments for making it in a crockpot AND adding a bit of vanilla too. It was great without the added alcohol, but excellent with some spiced rum!

I made this for a friends wedding outdoor fall wedding, it was amazing. I love all the flavors but I added some vanilla extract and it did big things.

I made this for an Autumn Harvest Open House party tonight and it was a hit. So delicious and really easy to make in a slow cooker vs. the stove. A few hours before party time, I put all the ingredients in and turned to high when the cider was hot, I switched to the warm setting. It was perfect. I doubled the recipe and it came out great. Served dark rum on the side for those adults wanting an extra kick. Can't wait to make it again for the holidays. Highly recommend!

I can't drink apple cider any other way now. . And wouldn't change a thing about it (except to make more)!

Absolutely marvelous! Even better for a holiday/seasonal party. Put it all (multiples) in a large Coffee Urn. The Percolation process warms and steeps everything, keeps all at just the right temperature throughout the day or evening. (Did this for the office. Nothing gets people in the mood like this smell.)

This is the most delicious thing I've ever tasted. After a long day of sledding and bunny-tracking, it is the perfect way to curl up and snuggle in. As I write this, I am drinking this exceptional cider and already planning to make more as soon as I'm done with this cup.

This is a nice recipe, and adding 2 cups of cranberry juice makes it a great one. I agree that adding more spices (or letting it simmer longer) improves the flavor.

This is just a wonderful cider. We make it every year starting at Thanksgiving and through the rest of the Holidays. Everyone raves about it.

This was a delicious addition to our annual Thanksgiving Brunch. The flavors were terrific and the aroma scented my whole house. A great way to kick off the holiday weekend.

Hadn't made mulled cider in years but really liked this recipe. The fresh ginger makes it. I warmed the cider in a crockpot and it only got better over time.

After the first batch, I started doubling the spices, then adjusting. I now use at least 4 times most spices, depending on what I have around the house. Yum.

This is a very easy, tasty, and aromatic drink. It's a hit.

This is a handy recipe to have for the holidays, but I added lots of extra cinnamon and cloves for more spice. Next time I think Iɽ add even more ginger, as well. But overall, good and yummy. (I used regular old apple cider, from the grocery store.)

This was delicious and easy, what more can you ask for? My only problem was I couldn't find unpasteurized apple cider, why does it have to be unpasteurized?

Mulled cider doesn't get this easy. The taste is wonderful but it can become satiating. Great for parties!

This is an easy and VERY delicious recipe. It made my whole house smell wonderful. I wish I had made more. my pot emptied quickly.

Recipe: Legit Mulled Cider

‘Tis the Christmastide, ready your wassail and boots to march into the apple orchard to chase away the bad spirits. Not a holiday drinking ritual you’re familiar with? The English know it well, having celebrated the custom of wassailing — visiting the orchards and singing to the trees to wish them a good harvest the next year — since the Middle Ages.

Wassail, the drink of wassailing, is essentially mulled — hot and spiced — cider. Depending on where you are, that can be an apple juice base or hard cider as we know it here. For Whitewood Cider, mulled cider is also a holiday season favorite, now served in its new tasting room in downtown Olympia, Washington. In this recipe, the cidery uses two full bottles of a house cider and nearly a dozen spicing ingredients for a warming, welcoming punch to share this Christmas(tide).

Hunker down for the holiday weekend with the recipe for mulled cider, the hard kind.

1 1/2 liters (2 750ml bottles) of Whitewood Cider, or other comparable craft cider
1 apple, quartered and studded with whole cloves
2-3 cinnamon sticks
4-5 allspice berries
2 cardamom pods
1-2 star anise
2-inch piece vanilla bean, split
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Juice of 1/2 orange
8-10 orange zest strips
4-6 ounces choice spirit (optional, see below)
Garnish: 1/2 cup cranberries, 8-10 apple slices, 8-10 orange peels

If you want to give your mulled cider a “little boost,” Whitewood cidermaker David White suggests using apple spirits like apple brandy, Calvados or even Applejack to taste/strength. His all-time favorite? Uncle John’s apple brandy, but rum or whiskey can also be used.