Invest 10 minutes of prep time and you can transform fresh apples into a classic Apple Cider. This big-batch homemade cider is sensational party drink idea.

Apple cider in a clear glasses.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Apple Cider Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for apple cider.

Ingredient notes

  • Apples: Sweet Galas are my go-to for Apple Cider, but feel free to tailor your choice to your flavor preference. For sweeter results, you could also consider Fuji, Golden or Red Delicious, or Cortland. For more tartness, try Braeburn, McIntosh, Jonathan, or Pink Lady. No need to stick with just one variety; you can certainly mix any of the above apple varieties as desired.
  • Oranges: The tart citrus element really amplifies the natural sweetness of the apples for a beautifully-balanced hot drink recipe.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large stockpot over high heat, combine apples, oranges, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar. Cover with water, leaving 1 to 1 ½ inches at the top of the stockpot.
A stock pot with ingredients for apple cider.
  1. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until apples are completely soft, about 2 hours.
A stock pot with ingredients for apple cider.
  1. Using a potato masher or large spoon, carefully press the apples and oranges against the sides of the stockpot to release their juices. Cover and continue to simmer until flavors meld, about 1 hour more.
A stock pot with ingredients for apple cider.
  1. Strain the cider through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a very large bowl, pressing the apples and oranges against the side of the strainer to release their juices. Discard solids.
Pulp being strained out of apple cider.
  1. Return cider to the pot to keep warm and serve, garnish with cinnamon sticks and sliced oranges.
Apple cider in a stock pot.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 12 (1-cup) servings.
  • Storage: Allow the cider to come to room temperature, then store in an airtight container (such as this lid-topped pitcher) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Make ahead: Apple Cider can be made up to 4 days ahead; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, then reheat in a large stock pot and enjoy.
  • Freezer: Cool completely and transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container (leave 1/2-inch headspace for expansion) and freeze for up to 3 months. For Apple Cider ice cubes to add to cocktails or tea, freeze in an ice cube tray to pop out and use as needed (or to reheat and savor a smaller batch at a time).
  • Cook with your cider: Put any extra cider to great use in Apple Cider Donuts, Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider, or as a glaze for Cornish hens.
  • Cider serving ideas: Garnish each glass with a thin apple slice, an orange wedge, a few cranberries, and/or a cinnamon stick.
  • Spike it: For the 21+ crowd, add a shot of brandy, whiskey, or dark rum to each mug. Or up the ante with Mulled Cider (boozy cider plus orange peel, brown sugar, and spices).
Apple cider in a clear glasses on a wooden serving tray.

Apple Cider Donuts

Overflowing with the flavors of fall, these homemade Apple Cider Donuts are baked, not fried, and then rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mixture for extra crunch.

1 hour
View Recipe

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Apple cider in a clear glasses.

Apple Cider

Invest 10 minutes of prep time and you can transform fresh apples into a classic Apple Cider. This big-batch homemade cider is sensational party drink idea.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Servings 12 servings (1 cup each)
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Calories 47

Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds medium apples stemed and quartered (about 10 to 12 apples)
  • 2 oranges unpeeled and quartered
  • 4 cinnamon sticks plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus more to taste, if desired
  • 12 to 16 cups water
  • orange slices for garnish

Instructions 

  • In a large stockpot over high heat, combine apples, oranges, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar. Cover with water, leaving an inch to an inch and a half space at the top of the stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until apples are completely soft, about 2 hours.
  • Using a potato masher or large spoon, carefully press the apples and oranges against the sides of the stockpot to release their juices. Cover and continue to simmer until flavors meld, about 1 hour more.
  • Strain the cider through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a very large bowl, pressing the apples and oranges against the side of the strainer to release their juices. Discard solids. Return cider to the pot to keep warm and serve, garnish with cinnamon sticks and sliced oranges.

Notes

  1. Apples: Sweet Galas are my go-to for Apple Cider, but feel free to tailor your choice to your flavor preference. For sweeter results, you could also consider Fuji, Golden or Red Delicious, or Cortland. For more tartness, try Braeburn, McIntosh, Jonathan, or Pink Lady. No need to stick with just one variety; you can certainly mix any of the above apple varieties as desired.
  2. Oranges: The tart citrus element really amplifies the natural sweetness of the apples for a beautifully-balanced hot drink recipe.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 12 (1-cup) servings.
  4. Storage: Allow the cider to come to room temperature, then store in an airtight container (such as this lid-topped pitcher) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  5. Make ahead: Apple Cider can be made up to 4 days ahead; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, then reheat in a large stock pot and enjoy.
  6. Freezer: Cool completely and transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container (leave 1/2-inch headspace for expansion) and freeze for up to 3 months. For Apple Cider ice cubes to add to cocktails or tea, freeze in an ice cube tray to pop out and use as needed (or to reheat and savor a smaller batch at a time).
  7. Cook with your cider: Put any extra cider to great use in Apple Cider Donuts, Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider, or as a glaze for Cornish hens.
  8. Cider serving ideas: Garnish each glass with a thin apple slice, an orange wedge, a few cranberries, and/or a cinnamon stick.
  9. Spike it: For the 21+ crowd, add a shot of brandy, whiskey, or dark rum to each mug. Or up the ante with Mulled Cider (boozy cider plus orange peel, brown sugar, and spices).

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 47kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 48mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 53IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg
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