Mulled Apple Cider

Cider mulling in the kitchen is the aroma of Vermont in Autumn. Add a crackling fire in the hearth, and you’ve no reason to venture out.

I’m not sure if the wood smoke of the fireplace makes the cider taste better, or if the cider makes the fire dance more slowly. Either way, it’s a perfect moment. Add some Vermont Cheddar and some crackers, and you can settle in with a good book and get lost.

A thousand ways to create your own blend

Quite honestly, you can make mulled cider a thousand ways depending on what spices you like, or what you have on hand. I try to have at least cinnamon and a citrus in the mixture whenever I make it, but the rest is up to you.

This is how I made it one day when I decided to write down the recipe, but just sprinkle and be creative, you really can’t go wrong. Make it your own way, taste as you go, and don’t forget the pinch of salt. Now, if you hit on a mixture you think is out of this world, try to remember what you used and make a note, because trust me on this, next week, you won’t have a clue how you made it.

First, start with fresh cider

You want fresh, unfiltered apple cider, not processed apple juice. They are not interchangeable. Your cider will smell like fresh apples, and it will be cloudy in appearance. It is made from a combination of many different types of apples to give it a well rounded flavor. It is not as shelf stable as apple juice, but it can be frozen if you end up with a bounty. If left in the refrigerator for an extended amount of time, it will ferment!

If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, use a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.


Mulled Apple Cider

1 quart fresh, unfiltered apple cider

2 cinnamon sticks, plus a pinch of ground

10 whole cloves

8-10 black peppercorns

1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

2 star anise

1-inch knob of ginger, sliced

The peel of one orange and one lemon

That orange, sliced

A pinch of salt

1 vanilla pod (saved from a recipe where I used the seeds!)

Mix all ingredients together and whisk well. Heat to steaming, but not quite a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least a half hour, covered. Turn off heat and let set for another half hour if you can stand to wait. Strain and serve.

Your house will smell incredible!


Mulled Cider with a Splash: To each mug of cider, you can add a little rum, or brandy, or Calvados, which is an apple brandy.

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. simplywendi says:

    sounds and looks delicious!

  2. I haven’t had this in a while, and I’m not sure why because I love it. When I use to have big holiday parties when I was working, I always had it not only because it was delicious but because it smelled so good.

    1. Doesn’t it make the house smell wonderful Judy? It’s a comforting and homey aroma.

  3. eponine3 says:

    I love having no reason to venture out! Thank you for this wonderful fall idea — I can smell it in my mind and love it!

    1. Enjoy the restful pause!

  4. With that smell in the house of course there’s no reason to go out 🙂 Delicious!

    1. Realtors use this technique when they have an open house. Cider simmering on the stove with spices so the house feels like home!

      1. Very clever 🙂

  5. Sheryl says:

    mmm. . . I love mulled apple cider. I’m going to have to make. some soon.

  6. What wonderful aromas! 🍁🍂🌾🍎

    1. It transports me to my childhood home.

      1. I can believe it. 🌟✨💫

  7. Kitty Jade says:

    I can almost smell it!

  8. Ally Bean says:

    Nothing makes a house seem more old-time homey than the scent of mulled cider. I’m getting nostalgic and thirsty as I type this. Thanks, I think.

    1. Ah! The sense of smell is the strongest as it connects to memory I think. So much stored there.

  9. Fergy. says:

    Great looking recipe but I wonder if you can clear up a small point for me. Here in the UK, cider is always alcoholic (sometimes extremely so) but I believe that what you call cider is non-alcoholic and what we call cider you call hard cider, if that is not all too confusing! Which type is this or does it really matter?

    1. You are exactly right. If it is called cider, it is raw and pressed, using a combination of apples. If it allowed to ferment, it is called hard cider. This was fresh cider, not hard, although you could certainly use hard cider, or add a spirit of choice.

  10. Your website is adorable, I love the look of it and the recipes. Beautiful job.

    1. Thank you so much! It is sweet of you to say.

  11. sherry says:

    looks great but probably a bit warm for it here:-) we are having a very warm dry smoky summer with lots of bushfires already. just as fergy above says, i was going to say that cider here in australia is alcoholic. so we either have apple juice -sparkling or still, or we have cider. hard cider – so funny…

    1. I forget that! To us cider is cider, unless we specifically say hard cider or we leave it in the refrigerator too long. When I ordered cider in a pub in England, it was definitely hard!

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