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Easy Hot Apple Cider Recipe

This easy Hot Apple Cider recipe makes a tasty non-alcoholic hot drink flavored with cinnamon, cloves, and allspice everyone can enjoy on chilly Autumn or Winter days. A warm mug of perfectly spiced and lightly sweetened apple cider is perfect for Halloween or harvest parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time you’re in the mood for a apple-flavored treat.

Besides that, a big batch of simmering mulled apple cider is practically like aromatherapy for your home!

Just imagine sitting in front of a roaring fire on a blustery day, your hands wrapped around a mug of hot apple cider, and breathing in the cinnamon spice wafting up out of the steam. I bet you’re ready to grab a mug now, am I right?

hot apple cider in a glass mug

Easy Hot Apple Cider

It seems like the leaves in our neighborhood began changing color overnight and suddenly there’s no denying that Fall is in the air.

The neighbors have started displaying pumpkins and Fall mums and it seems that most people are ready to leave the last few months behind and move into a fresh new season.

The nights are chilly and the sun starts to set a little earlier each day. That all means it’s also time to enjoy evenings at home by the fire pit—roasting hotdogs and marshmallows—and warm ourselves sipping hot apple cider.

Since it’s apple harvest time, jugs of apple cider are now plentiful at the market, so it’s the perfect time to make this popular Autumn beverage, hot apple cider.

hot apple cider with a floating apple

What’s the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

Apple cider contains a lot of the apple pulp and unlike processed clear apple juice, it is not pasteurized. Because of this, it’s a good idea to always boil cider before it is consumed by small children or people with compromised immune systems.

What’s the difference between apple cider and mulled apple cider?

Apple cider can be served either warm or cold, while mulled apple cider is always served warm and may or may not contain alcohol. Mulled cider, like today’s hot cider recipe, starts with apple cider that is simmered with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to enhance the flavor.

ingredients for hot apple cider spices

How to make store-bought apple cider better

Sure, you could just heat up a cup of apple cider and it would be tasty, but simply adding a few spices and a little sweetener turns store-bought cider into a steamy mug of pure deliciousness.

Common spices to add to mulled cider include cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and sometimes star anise. Cider may be sweetened with a little brown sugar or maple syrup, or a combination. With today’s recipe, however, we’re keeping it simple.

apple studded with cloves

Instructions

  1. Take a fresh, whole apple and stud it with cloves by pressing the stems right through the apple peel and flesh.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, stir together the apple cider, brown sugar, and allspice. Add the apple with cloves and a few cinnamon sticks bundled together with kitchen twine.
  3. Bring the cider to a boil, then let it simmer with the spices for about 30 minutes to marry the flavors. The longer it simmers, the better the spiced cider will taste.
hot apple cider in a glass mug with whipped cream

Make a hot cider float!

If you’re feeling a bit more indulgent, try a mug of hot apple cider topped with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream (like a root beer float). Sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon and drizzle with caramel syrup.

a woman sipping a cup of hot apple cider with whipped cream

How to serve hot apple cider

  • Ladle warm cider into heat-resistant mugs and garnish with apple slices, orange slices, or cinnamon sticks.
  • For parties, keep hot apple cider warm over low heat on the stove or in a slow cooker. Cut an apple crosswise into 1/4-inch slices and float on top of the warm cider for a festive party feel.
  • Make a hot apple cider float by serving warm apple cider topped with whipped cream and caramel syrup—a delicious and decadent non-alcoholic hot drink!
hot apple cider in a glass mug

Let’s cook!

I like using brown sugar to sweeten my mulled cider, but you can also use maple syrup or a combination of the two. Also, I don’t like my cider sugary sweet, so I only use a half cup of brown sugar, feel free to add a bit more to suit your own taste.

Yield: 16 servings

Hot Apple Cider

hot apple cider in a glass mug

Easy Hot Apple Cider recipe for a tasty non-alcoholic hot drink with cinnamon, cloves, and allspice—lightly sweetened and perfectly spiced.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or other sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 6 - 8 cinnamon sticks

Instructions

  1. Stud the apple with the whole cloves by pressing each clove stem through the apple peel and flesh, evenly spacing them out.
  2. Use cooking twine to tie the cinnamon sticks into a bundle.
  3. In a large pot over high heat, combine the apple cider, brown sugar, and allspice. Add the clove-studded apple and cinnamon sticks. Once the cider comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve the cider hot garnished with a cinnamon stick, if desired.

Notes

For the slow cooker: Add all the ingredients and heat on high for 1 - 2 hours. To keep the cider warm, reduce the setting to low until ready to serve.

Cool any leftovers completely before storing in the refrigerator.

Serving suggestions:

  • Ladle warm cider in mugs and garnish with apple slices, orange slices, or cinnamon sticks.
  • For parties, keep hot apple cider warm over low heat on the stove or in a slow cooker. Cut an apple crosswise into 1/4-inch slices and float on top of the warm cider for a festive party feel.
  • Make a hot apple cider float by serving warm apple cider topped with whipped cream and caramel syrup—a delicious and decadent non-alcoholic hot drink!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 144Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 31gProtein: 0g

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