Mulled Apple Cider

How to mull apple cider with fruit and spices, turning everyday supermarket-variety apple cider into something special and irresistible. Mulled apple cider is such a refreshing autumn treat, I serve it hot on chilly days and over ice when it's warm.

Mulled Apple Cider ♥

Such a warm, warm fall we're having here in eastern Missouri – hot even. So when it turned halfway cool-ish a couple of weekends back, we made the most of it, building a fire in the firepit and declaring a cooking holiday. Supper that night? Popcorn drizzled with salty butter and hot apple cider mulled with apples, citrus and spices.

Mulled Apple Cider ♥

The cider is so easy to make! Just pour a no-name supermarket-variety apple cider into a big pot, add a few spices (cinnamon sticks, star anise, fennel seed, coriander, a even a couple of peppercorns) and slices of apple, orange and lemon, then let it simmer for an hour or so, concentrating the apple cider essence, "mulling" it with the spices and fruit.

So good! We sat outside for the longest time that night, sipping on cider ...

Mulled Apple Cider ♥

Still, there was lots leftover so I took to pouring a glass over ice for each of us before dinner – a non-alcoholic cocktail perfect for fall. (Ummm ... except for the evening when I slipped in a shot of bourbon and a twist of lemon.)

And when the grandkids came to visit on Sunday? I made another pot. How'd it go over? Two thumbs up from this wonderful seven-year old!

Mulled Apple Cider ♥


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes about 12 cups (easily halved)

  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 - 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 - 2 star anise
  • 3 - 4 cardamom seeds
  • 3 - 4 whole coriander
  • 1 - 2 whole peppercorns
  • Pinch fennel seeds
  • Pinch salt

Pour the cider into a large, heavy pot and begin to heat up. Cut the fruit cross-wise, discarding the ends. Add fruit and spices to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer for about 45 minutes, reducing the liquid by about a quarter. Remove the fruit and strain out the spices. Serve piping hot or, once cooled, over ice.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS Make this ahead of time, it keeps beautifully in the fridge for a couple of weeks, I just strain it back into the original apple cider container.

VARIATIONS Cranberries? Pears? Get creative!

ALANNA's TIPS Save the poached apple slices, they're wonderful! I made smoothies with the first batch, the second batch went into supper salads. Eagle-eyed readers may notice lime slices in the photos but not in the recipe. That's because when I took photos, I added some lime but we all found it slightly too sour. Lemon and orange, however, are lovely. I suspect many spices would work here but I especially like the mix of cinnamon, cardamom and star anise.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 160 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 33mg Sodium; 41g Carb; 0g Fiber; 35g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 9

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.