There is something so soothing about the smell of this spiced cranberry apple cider simmering on the stovetop. While I have made this throughout the year, it really is perfect for fall and winter evenings when it is chilly outside. As soon as apple cider is available in stores, I grab ingredients and make a batch of this cider. It never fails to disappoint my family!
Spiced Cranberry Apple Cider
Taking apple cider from fall apple picking days right up to Christmas Eve celebrations is easy with this little recipe. It's easy to make on the stovetop and is a brightly flavored drink that is ideal for a hot drink but can even be tasty as a chilled beverage. Plus, this is semi-homemade, so it is easy to throw together at the last minute when the company is on its way.
If you like the idea of serving something special to drink, you might also like this sweet cinnamon chai latte or to whip up some white chocolate hot cocoa bombs for the kids to enjoy. If serving guests, I prefer this slow cooker white hot chocolate or the red velvet hot chocolate recipe since it can warm and simmer while you chat and serve snacks.
What is the Difference Between Mulled Apple Cider and Apple Cider?
Apple cider is a cold drink that is just processed apples. A mulled apple cider is one with spices added to it along with fruit and is served warm. Technically, this recipe would be considered a mulled apple cider due to the addition of spices and being heated before serving.
What Alcohol is Used in Apple Cider?
While we do not drink alcohol, many do. If you like a spiked beverage then you can add alcohol to this cranberry apple cider. I have seen where it is traditional to serve with a nice darker flavor like rum or bourbon. Some prefer something like Everclear or vodka. This really would depend upon your personal taste and preferences.
If you choose to spike your cider before serving, make sure you keep it out of reach of children and teens. Also, keep in mind when serving spiked punch that your guests may be traveling. Do so with caution and never allow someone to drive after drinking.
Serving Suggestions for Cranberry Apple Cider
I love serving up drinks at events that are different than normal water, tea, coffee, or soft drinks. Specialty ciders and drinks like this always serve beautifully. Below are some ideas that can make this pretty and fun to serve to your guests.
- Serve in clear mugs so the color is visible.
- Slice Navel oranges, Cara Cara oranges, or Blood oranges into rings and place one of each into the mug, or on a serving platter for guests to add to their drinks.
- Serve with cinnamon sticks as drink stirrers.
- Add apple slices into the mugs.
- Serve with fresh whipped cream or cinnamon whipped cream on top.
- Display with shakers of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cinnamon sugar for guests to sprinkle on the cider.
How Long is Cider Good For?
This usually doesn't last long in our house, but if you find yourselves with leftovers, it can be stored for later. Pour into a pitcher or jar with a lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Simply reheat when ready to serve. Since the berries and flavoring are strained off of the cider once it is done cooking, it easily stays fresh and delicious for serving at a later date or time.
- Dried cranberries
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- Apple cider
How to Make Spiced Cranberry Apple Cider
In a large heavy bottom sauce pan, combine all ingredients and heat over medium heat until boiling.
Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.
Strain before serving.
Can I Make This in My Slow Cooker?
Yes! If you prefer to let this slow cook, simply put all ingredients into the slow cooker and let it cook on low heat for at least 2 hours. Strain before serving.
Can I Make This in My Instant Pot?
While you can make this in your Instant Pot, the time to bring your pot to temperature and reach pressure would likely be almost as long, if not longer than, making on your stovetop. I would not recommend using the Instant Pot for this unless using simply to heat without putting under pressure out of convenience.
Recipes to Serve with Cider
Cranberry apple cider is a delicious choice for adding to your menu. Whether you serve this just to your family or to your guests, you'll want something to serve alongside the cider. There are tons of great flavors to add to your dessert platters, and below are some of my favorite recipes that fit alongside cider wonderfully.
- Authentic Amish Cinnamon Bread Recipe
- Yeast-Free Buttery Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- Lavender Lemon Curd & Marscarpone Raspberry Treats
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Coconut Carrot Cake Muffins
- Cranberry Pinwheel Slice and Bake Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- ½ tsp whole cloves
- 2 quarts apple cider
- 1 quart water
- 2 oranges, sliced
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- In a large heavy bottom sauce pan, combine all ingredients and heat over medium heat until boiling.
- Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Strain before serving.
Replace fresh cranberries with frozen if fresh are not available.
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Cloves Whole Whole Herb Ounce Organic Dried Herbs | Etsy
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Mulling Spice Bags with Optional Wine Bottle Ribbon | Etsy
Mulling Spices | Etsy
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 0g