Mulled Cider is warmed apple cider infused with brandy and spices. It’s the perfect hot beverage for a cold day, especially around the holidays.

Three glasses of mulled cider on a silver serving platter.

Hot Mulled Cider Day is officially September 30, but I usually enjoy it long past then and well into the winter.

Not only is it a perfect warm-me-up after raking leaves or shoveling the driveway, but it also has the added benefit of making the whole house smell absolutely delicious.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Mulled Cider Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Mulled cider ingredients in bowls and labeled.

Ingredient notes

  • Spices: sachet is a fancy term for spices tied up in a piece of cheesecloth with twine. You could also use a tea ball or loose leaf tea bag to hold them. It makes it easier to pull these small ingredients out of the cider later. Or, you can just add everything straight to the pot since you strain the cider at the end. Either way, these get toasted before they’re added to the liquid to awaken their flavors.
  • Apple cider: Cider is available at orchards and grocery stores on a seasonal basis, usually from early fall through the winter. You can also make your own apple cider any time of year, and it’s delicious.
  • Brown sugar: Takes the edge off the booze and adds richness. Add more or less to taste depending on how sweet your apples are and what you like.
  • Brandy: I love the flavor of brandy and apple cider, but bourbon or spiced rum works too.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, toast cinnamon stick pieces, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and cloves, shaking occasionally until fragrant, about 1 to 3 minutes.
Spices in a silver stock pot.
  1. To the saucepan, slowly add cider, orange zest, and sugar. Simmer until flavors meld, about 30 minutes. Using a wide shallow spoon, skim any foam that may come to the surface.
Mulled cider in a silver stock pot.
  1. Prepare a fine mesh strainer with a coffee filter or a triple layer of cheesecloth and place over large bowl. Strain mixture through prepared strainer. Discard solids. Return cider mixture to saucepan and stir in brandy. Serve in mugs with orange slices for garnish.
Liquid being strained into a clear bowl.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes twelve 1-cup servings (and is easily doubled or tripled for your crowd).
  • Storage: Mulled cider can be refrigerated for up to a week. Just bring it to a simmer before serving.
  • Garnish: Orange wheels, a curled orange peel, thin apple slices, a cinnamon stick, or nothing at all.
  • Slow cooker: Make the cider on the stove and reheat in a crockpot on LOW for easy open house serving.
  • How to crack spices: Keep whole peppercorns and coriander from flying everywhere by tucking them into a plastic bag, placing the bag on a stable surface, and firmly rocking the flat bottom of a heavy pan over them until they break apart.
Three glasses and a carafe of mulled cider on a silver serving platter.

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.

3 hours 10 minutes
View Recipe

More warming, wintery beverages

Three glasses of mulled cider on a silver serving platter.

Mulled Cider

apple cider infused with brandy and spices. It's the perfect hot beverage for a cold day, especially around the holidays.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 12 servings (1 cup each)
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Calories 166

Ingredients 

  • 1 cinnamon stick broken into pieces (see note 1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns cracked
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds cracked
  • 7 whole cloves
  • 2 quarts apple cider (see note 2)
  • 4 (3-inch) strips orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar plus more, to taste (see note 3)
  • 16 ounces brandy (see note 4)
  • orange slices for garnish

Instructions 

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, toast cinnamon stick pieces, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and cloves, shaking occasionally until fragrant, about 1 to 3 minutes.
  • To the saucepan, slowly add cider, orange zest, and sugar. Simmer until flavors meld, about 30 minutes. Using a wide shallow spoon, skim any foam that may come to the surface.
  • Prepare a fine mesh strainer with a coffee filter or a triple layer of cheesecloth and place over large bowl. Strain mixture through prepared strainer. Discard solids. Return cider mixture to saucepan and stir in brandy. Serve in mugs with orange slices for garnish.

Notes

  1. Spices: sachet is a fancy term for spices tied up in a piece of cheesecloth with twine. You could also use a tea ball or loose leaf tea bag to hold them. It makes it easier to pull these small ingredients out of the cider later. Or, you can just add everything straight to the pot since you strain the cider at the end. Either way, these get toasted before they’re added to the liquid to awaken their flavors.
  2. Apple cider: Cider is available at orchards and grocery stores on a seasonal basis, usually from early fall through the winter. You can also make your own apple cider any time of year, and it’s delicious.
  3. Brown sugar: Takes the edge off the booze and adds richness. Add more or less to taste depending on how sweet your apples are and what you like.
  4. Brandy: I love the flavor of brandy and apple cider, but bourbon or spiced rum works too.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes twelve 1-cup servings (and is easily doubled or tripled for your crowd).
  6. Storage: Mulled cider can be refrigerated for up to a week. Just bring it to a simmer before serving.
  7. Garnish: Orange wheels, a curled orange peel, thin apple slices, a cinnamon stick, or nothing at all.
  8. Slow cooker: Make the cider on the stove and reheat in a crockpot on LOW for easy open house serving.
  9. How to crack spices: Keep whole peppercorns and coriander from flying everywhere by tucking them into a plastic bag, placing the bag on a stable surface, and firmly rocking the flat bottom of a heavy pan over them until they break apart.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 159mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16gVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg
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