There is nothing like drinking a cup of hot apple cider to give you the feeling of an old fashioned Christmas. This recipe can be made in advance and stored in a jar or even given as a gift.
Pumpkin spice may be the “flavor of Fall”, but old fashioned hot apple cider definitely gives me all those cozy Christmas feelings. There is nothing like the smell of a pot of cider simmering over our wood stove with all the spices and fruits added in to make it extra special.
I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, Aldi’s has the most delicious apple cider for a really great price. Its tangy and sweet, not bland like plain old apple juice. Every year when I spot it hitting the shelves, I buy an unreasonable amount to stock my fridge with.
What’s better than apple cider? The old fashioned kind of hot apple cider made with extra cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice and oranges. There really is nothing better on a chill Autumn day.
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Why you’ll love this recipe for old fashioned apple cider:
Hot mulled cider is one of the most scrumptious holiday drinks (in my opinion). It has all of those warm spiced flavors of apple pie combined with the tangy punch of citrus and brightness of fresh fruit.
Pair this cozy drink with a warm blanket and good book during the holiday season, it doesn’t get much better than that.
easy to make
This is such an easy recipe to throw together whenever you’re in the mood for hot apple cider. Just combine all of the ingredients in a pot, let it simmer, and it’s ready to enjoy!
perfect for a large gathering
Because this recipe is so easy to make, it’s the perfect party drink during the Fall and Winter months. Put a pot on the stove an hour before your guests arrive, or take the spice mix and a gallon of cider to the party along with your slow cooker to share with your friends.
Makes a Great Gift
This recipe has instructions to make jarred spice mix to add to a gallon of cider later on. A jar of mulled apple cider mix makes a great little hostess gift as well!
What You Need to Make Old Fashioned Hot Apple Cider:
apple cider – 100% apple cider that hasn’t been watered down or filtered. This recipe is for a whole gallon, but can easily be halved for 1/2 gallon.
brown sugar or maple syrup – adding a sweetener brings out the flavors in this old fashioned hot apple cider. You can use brown sugar (definitely if you are planning to make this recipe in advance), or maple syrup if you are trying to avoid all processed sugars.
cinnamon – cinnamon brings warmth and spice to the cider. You can use ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks.
whole cloves – whole cloves really make this drink what it is. They add so much spice and just the right amount of heat. You can use ground cloves if you have that on hand instead.
ground nutmeg – nutmeg may be my favorite holiday spice. Just a pinch goes a long way.
allspice – ground allspice berries have a little bit of the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove all rolled in one.
salt – salt just brings out all the flavors in this cider.
orange and/or apple – adding fruit is optional, but it really makes this drink more festive! To keep the whole cloves from getting into your cup of cider, you can poke them into a whole orange floating in the pot for easy removal.
I like to slice an orange and a Johnathon apple and let them float in the cider while its heating up.
How To Make This Old Fashioned Hot Apple Cider Recipe
To Make and Use Right Away:
Heat – In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat one gallon of apple cider over medium-high heat until it is hot but not yet simmering. Reduce to low heat.
Add Spices – Add all of the spices, sugar and fruit (if using) to the pot. Stir to combine.
Simmer – Continue to cook on a low heat and let the spices blend for a half hour to an hour.
Strain – Pour the cider through a fine mesh sieve to strain out the cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving.
To Make in Advance:
Combine – Mix the brown sugar, orange peel zest and spices in a small bowl or jar.
Store – in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Tips for Success:
To Store – Leftover prepared hot apple cider will last in the fridge for one week. Remove the whole cloves and cinnamon sticks so that the cider doesn’t get too spicy from sitting too long.
Variations – Depending on your personal preference, you can make this recipe with orange and apple slices, or leave the orange whole and pierce all over with the cloves to make them easier to remove when its time to serve.
For Spiked Cider – Add 1-1/2 cup of spiced rum to this recipe to make it an alcoholic beverage.
To Gift – Make the dry version of this recipe and include it in a holiday gift basket. Combine all of the ingredients in a sealed jar and tie a ribbon around the top.
FAQ about making old fashioned apple cider
What is the Difference Between Apple Cider and Apple Juice?
Apple cider is the juice of apples that has not been put through a filter to remove any particles and pulp the way apple juice is. Apple juice is pasteurized to have a longer shelf life and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
Because apple cider is not pasteurized or filtered, it has a stronger flavor than apple juice and can ferment over time making it a bit fizzy and even alcoholic.
What is Old Fashioned Hot Apple Cider?
Old fashioned hot apple cider is often called “mulled” cider. It is a sweeter, cider, warmed with added spices and sometimes fruit. The term mulled means to heat, sweeten and spice up.
Sliced or whole oranges and apples are commonly added to old fashioned cider to bring a fresh flavor to this holiday drink.
This drink dates back as early as the 2nd century and originated in south-west England. Hot cider has been enjoyed at Winter festivals and parties for hundreds of years. Drinking spiced cider on chilly nights is a real holiday tradition to carry on with your family!
How Do You Spice Up Apple Cider?
- Heat it up in a pot or Dutch oven over medium heat
- Add in spices such as cinnamon, all spice, cloves and nutmeg
- Add in brown sugar or maple syrup to sweeten it up a bit
- Sliced or whole oranges and apples add extra flavor
- Serve warm plain or topped with whipped cream and cinnamon
More Holiday Recipes on the blog:
If you liked this easy hot apple cider recipe, I think you’ll really enjoy these other from scratch recipes on the blog:
- Homemade Cocoa Mix Without Powdered Milk
- Honey Whipped Cream Recipe
- Homemade Healthy Marshmallows
- Strawberry Marshmallow Recipe
- Healthy Peanut Butter Eggs
I hope you love this recipe for old fashioned apple cider! If you make it, I’d love for you to come back and leave a comment and rating so that I know how you like it!
Pin these steps to try later. Tag @athomeontheprairie on Instagram to share what you’ve made with us!