Could there be anything more homey or satisfying than warm apple cider on a chilly day? Whether you are coming in from raking leaves in the fall or from building a snow man in the winter, this hot mulled cider recipe is just the ticket to warm you up.

And of course, this hot apple cider recipe is the perfect drink for a Halloween party.

Don’t confuse hot apple cider with hard cider. Hot mulled cider or hot apple cider is just a warmed and spiced version of apple juice, and it is normally non-alcoholic. Hard cider, on the other hand, is alcoholic. Although you can certainly add a splash of rum or brandy to this mulled cider recipe if you like.

This mulled apple cider makes a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack served with apple coffee cake, blueberry breakfast bars, banana bread, sweet potato scones and pumpkin bran muffins.

Apple Cider Recipe


  • 1 half-gallon of apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar


  1. Place the apple cider in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer (little bubbles will form around the edges). Turn the heat down to low and allow the cider to cook for about 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and serve.
  2. Or, if you don’t have a strainer, just put the brown sugar and the cider in the pan, then put the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, orange zest, and cloves in cheesecloth, tie up in a little pouch, and drop in the cider mixture like a bouquet garni. Then, when you are ready to serve, simply remove the pouch of spices and pour the cider into glasses.
  3. You can even make this hot mulled cider in the Crock Pot, if you like. Set the Crock Pot on low for 2 to 3 hours, and let the smell of the hot apple cider permeate the whole house.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 132 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 32 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 0 g protein, 0% vitamin A, 6% vitamin C, 3% calcium, 7% iron