Mulled Apple Cider is a great way to celebrate Autumn. It is perfect for parties, football games, or just cuddling up at home and watching the leaves turn color.
If you can boil water, you can make this recipe: just heat the juice/cider with the spices until it is sweet and spicy.
Make a small batch on the stove to enjoy curled up with a good book on a chilly Autumn day.
Or make a large batch for a party and keep it warm in a slow cooker. You can even make it a day ahead and start warming it about 30 minutes before guests arrive.
Difference Between Apple Cider and Apple Juice
Apple Cider is made from mashed apple that is strained through cheesecloth. It should look a little cloudy since it still contains a bit of apple pulp. It is not pasteurized so true cider should only be found refrigerated.
Apple Juice is filtered again to remove all of the pulp and then is it pasteurized to make it shelf stable.
You can use either cider or juice in this recipe. Juice will make it a bit sweeter.
And while we are on the subject, Hard Cider is fermented apple cider and contains 5-8% alcohol by volume.
You can make this recipe with hard cider for an adults only version if you prefer. Or you can make it with apple cider or juice and add additional alcohol such as bourbon or rum.
Mulled Cider for a Gift
For a fun hostess gift, wrap the spices in a little cheesecloth tied with kitchen twine. Tie it to a bottle of apple cider or apple juice. Add a card with instructions if desired.
- 5 sticks cinnamon (plus extra for serving if desired)
- 10 whole cloves
- 10 whole allspice
- 1-2 star anise (optional)
- 1 gallon apple cider or juice
- orange peel (dried if giving as a gift)
- apple slices or orange slices (for serving)
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot on the stove. Simmer at least one hour. Serve with orange or apple slices and/or cinnamon sticks if desired.
- For a party you can prepare it the day before then heat it on the stove or in a slow cooker.
- For gift giving, dry the orange peel and wrap ingredients in a piece of cheese cloth tied with kitchen twine. Tie to the bottle of juice or cider.