How to Make Mulled Cider

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If you’re looking for a delicious and cozy drink to warm you up during the colder months, mulled cider is the perfect choice.

Mulled cider is a warm, spiced drink made with apple cider, cinnamon, cloves, and other warming spices. It’s popular during the fall and winter months as it’s delicious, nutritious, and comforting. Mulled cider is also commonly served at holiday gatherings and parties.

This spiced apple cider is infused with aromatic spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, creating a delightful blend of flavors.

If you want to make it an adult beverage, you can add an ounce of brandy or bourbon, or check out my mulled wine recipe—it’s also delicious.

Whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering or simply want to enjoy a comforting beverage at home, making mulled cider is easy and enjoyable.

Mulled Cider Ingredients:

Makes 4 servings; easily scaled

  • 1 quart (4 cups) apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or (3-4) 1/2-inch slices of fresh ginger)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, or 3-4 whole allspice berries
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar, to taste if your cider is tart and needs a little sweetener
  • Optional garnishes:
    • 1 navel orange, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
    • 1 small apple, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
    • whole cranberries
    • cinnamon sticks

Ingredient note: This is a base recipe that my family has always enjoyed. Star anise, vanilla extract, and whole black peppercorns are other spices that are sometimes added to mulled cider. Adjust all spices to your liking!

Mulled Cider recipe in Glass mugs

How to Make Mulled Cider:

  1. Combine all ingredients except the garnishes in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it is just simmering.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and barely simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let spice infuse in the hot cider for another 10 to 15 minutes. The idea is to get the cider hot so the spices can infuse without letting it evaporate or reduce.
  3. Stir in the honey or brown sugar to taste if using it.
  4. Ladle into mugs (straining out any whole spices) and serve immediately. Garnish it with a fresh orange or apple slice, if desired. Enjoy!

Mulled Cider Tips & Variations:

Here are some tips to enhance your mulled cider experience:

  • For a more intense flavor, let the cider sit overnight in the refrigerator with the spices before warming it up.
  • Add 1 ounce of brandy, bourbon, or rum to each serving for an adult beverage twist.
  • Garnish your mulled cider with cinnamon sticks, orange slices, or apple slices for an extra touch of visual appeal.

Why is it called mulled cider? In the context of mulled cider, “mulled” means to heat and flavor a beverage with spices. The word “mull” comes from the Middle English word “mollyn,” which means “to grind or powder.” This is because the spices used to mull cider were traditionally ground or powdered before being added to the cider instead of being left whole. Today, the word “mull” is often used more broadly to mean “to heat and flavor a drink with spices.” For example, you could say that mulled wine is a type of wine that has been mulled with spices.

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Mulled Cider recipe in Glass mugs

How to Make Mulled Cider

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  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Holiday
  • Method: Simmer, Mix

Description

Warm up with this delicious and easy-to-follow mulled cider recipe. Made with simple ingredients, this recipe is perfect for a cozy night in or a festive holiday gathering.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 quart (4 cups) apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into large pieces (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 34 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or (3-4) 1/2-inch slices of fresh ginger)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, or 34 whole allspice berries
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar, to taste if your cider is tart and needs a little sweetener

Optional garnishes:

  • 1 navel orange, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 small apple, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • whole cranberries
  • cinnamon sticks

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients (except garnishes) in a pot and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Once simmering, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and let the spices sit in the hot cider for 10-15 minutes. (We cut the heat to make sure your cider doesn’t evaporate away, keep it warm as needed.) Add honey, maple, or brown sugar if desired.
  4. Pour into mugs and garnish with orange or apple slices or a cinnamon stick, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

This is a base recipe that my family has always enjoyed. I gave you options to use whole spices or ground spices depending on what you have in your kitchen. Star anise and whole black peppercorns are other spices that are sometimes added to mulled cider. Adjust all spices to your liking!

If you have the time, you can also keep this warm on the stove for a few hours to let the spices infuse even more. I suggest covering the pot with a lid to trap in the liquid and watching it to make sure your cider doesn’t evaporate away.

You can also combine all ingredients (except garnishes) in a container with a lid and let it sit in the fridge overnight to give the spices a headstart to infuse into the cider. This will yield a stronger, spicier cider if you prefer that.

Making mulled cider at home is a wonderful way to enjoy the flavors of fall and create a cozy atmosphere in your space. So gather your ingredients and get ready to sip on this delightful spiced beverage.

Cheers to warm and comforting moments!

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I teach you how to be healthier without extremes, so you can live more and obsess less.

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