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Mulled Apple Cider

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The nights are cold and the air is crisp. Fall is here and there is no better time to sip mulled apple cider next to the fireplace!

top view of a glass with apple cider. It has ice, a cinnamon stick, a round orange slice and whole cloves on top

Mulled apple cider is traditionally made by slow cooking apple cider with warm aromatic spices to infuse the taste of cinnamon and cloves into the cider. This fall drink is usually served warm, but sometimes an iced drink can taste just as delicious when you are bundled up!

If you are really looking for a warm and cozy drink, be sure to check out our Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe!

Cold Apple Cider Recipe

Warm drinks are amazing in the winter, but sometimes we find ourselves wanting an iced drink. Between wearing layers of clothes and cranking up the house heater, it can get warm. Here are just a few reasons why you will love this cold apple cider recipe over traditional mulled cider!

  • Since you aren’t required to slow cook it, you can make just one glass at a time! If you want to have a couple, just make a few glasses and keep them in the fridge. You can make this as one big batch, but it is always nice to have options!
  • This drink can be made ahead of time with minimal effort. Slice some oranges and put one slice in each glass. Add the other ingredients and store it in the fridge until you are ready. In fact, the longer this sits, the better it will taste!
  • Because these can be made in individual glasses, you can serve a few to the kids and add something special in yours! Mulled cider goes great with spiced rum.
  • If you want hot mulled cider, pop it in the microwave for a minute until it is warm.
  • This drink is dairy free! I know all ciders are dairy free but I had to point it out because those of us who are dairy intolerant sometimes feel like we are missing out. This drink is all inclusive!

The first time I made this recipe, I intended to make a warm spiced apple cider. I bought all the ingredients and I was ready to make it but I just didn’t have enough time. I decided to throw it all together and see what happens. We let it sit overnight and the next day the kids drank it all!

Ever since that day, this has become our go-to easy cider recipe.

two glasses of apple cider each with a round orange slice showing on through the glass and a cinnamon stick popping out the top

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED

  • Apple Cider – Find a really good quality apple cider. If you are shopping at the grocery store, look for cloudy apple juice. The extra apple bits will make for a more substantial and satisfying drink
  • Cinnamon – I like to use cinnamon sticks to prevent the clumps of cinnamon in my drink. But if you don’t have cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon will work too!
  • Oranges – Oranges add a fruity, different flavor dimension to the drink. It really complements the apple cider. It won’t taste like oranges, but it will add a fall like flavor.
  • Cloves- Whole cloves work best but again, ground cloves will work if that’s all you have. Just us a small pinch. Too much cloves can ruin a drink.
  • Star Anise (optional) – Star anise adds a light licorice flavor to the drink. If you have been drinking mulled cider all your life, you will want to add it or else it will taste like something is missing. I decided to skip it. It was so hard to find and when I finally did find it, it was $12.00 for a small jar. I omitted it from the recipe but feel free to add it.

Step by step photos – Cold Apple Cider Recipe

an orange cut in half and then a circular slice placed on top
Wash the orange and then slice in to thin rounds. About 1/8 inch thick
a round ornage slice pressed against a juice glass so you can see it from the outside
Put the orange into a glass and add lots of ice
apple cider being poured into a glass that has an orange slice in it
Pour in the apple cider

a side view of a glass with an orange slice and cinnamon stick in it
Add the cinnamon stick and cloves. Let sit for at least 3 hours and enjoy!

How To Make Cold Mulled Apple Cider

This cider is so easy to make that you will be wondering if you missed a step!

  1. Since we will be adding the orange to our drink, I like to wash the orange first. Then slice it into thin slices. I try to keep it about 1/8 inch thick, but do what you like!
  2. Add the orange slice to a glass and add lots of ice. You can use ice cubes but I know a lot of people like to use crushed ice in drinks. That will work too.
  3. Add a cinnamon stick and the cloves. Try to get them under the cider for maximum flavor.
  4. Place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours. The longer the better!

Important Teaching Tips

  1. Ice – I like to add the ice before placing it in the fridge. Keep in mind that the ice will melt while it sits. I prefer this since the apple cider is very sweet. If you don’t want it to be diluted, do not add ice at this point. Instead add the ice right before you drink it.
  2. Longer is better – Since we aren’t slow cooking the apple cider with the fall spices, it is important that we let the cider sit as long as possible. If you will be serving this at a party, consider making it the night before.
  3. Sparkling water – If you want this drink to be more of a mocktail, try adding some sparkling water. I like to do 2/3 apple cider and 1/3 sparkling water. The kids love this too!
side view of a glass of apple cider iwth an orange slice and cinnamon stick on a square wooden tray

Frequently Asked Questions About Mulled Apple Cider

Can you just heat up cold apple cider?

Yes you can. The great thing about this recipe is that you can enjoy it cold but you can also put it in the microwave for a minute and have a nice warm apple cider!

Does apple cider need to be kept cold?

It really depends on the kind of cider that you purchase. If you are buying it off the shelf in the grocery store, you do not need to refrigerate it. It is shelf stable until opened. Once opened, you should keep it in the fridge. If you are buying from a farm or farmers market, you will want to ask the person selling it since all ciders will be processed differently.

Can you warm up an alcoholic cider?

Sure! Just let it sit a few minutes before drinking. Depending on how much alcohol is in it, there may be strong fumes when it is too hot so you’ll want to let it cool slightly.

What is mulled cider?

Mulled cider is the process of warming apple cider with lots of fall spices. The warmth helps to draw out the flavor from your spices. In this case, we are not warming the apple cider, so it is important that we let the drink sit as long as possible before enjoying. It will take longer than a warm cider.

What do you serve with mulled cider?

Anything fall or winter will be delicious! Try apple pie, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin cheesecake or any of your favorite dishes!

More Dairy Free Drink Recipes You Might Enjoy:

side view of glass with round orange and a cinnamon stick

Mulled Apple Cider

Yield: 1 glass
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes

This delicious mulled apple cide can be served cold or warm. We like it iced while sipping it next to a roaring fire!

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Apple Cider
  • 3-4 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Orange slice - about 1/8 inch thick

Instructions

  1. Add an orange slice to a glass
  2. Add lots of ice
  3. Pour in the apple cider
  4. Add the cinnamon stick and cloves
  5. Place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight

Notes

  • Ice - I like to add the ice before placing it in the fridge. Keep in mind that the ice will melt while it sits. I prefer this since the apple cider is very sweet. If you don't want it to be diluted, do not add ice at this point. Instead add the ice right before you drink it.
  • Longer is better - Since we aren't slow cooking the apple cider with the fall spices, it is important that we let the cider sit as long as possible. If you will be serving this at a party, consider making it the night before.
  • Sparkling water - If you want this drink to be more of a mocktail, try adding some sparkling water. I like to do 2/3 apple cider and 1/3 sparkling water. The kids love this too!
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 25gProtein: 0g

    Nutrition information isn't always accurate. Please recalculate if you need it to be exact.

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    By on October 13th, 2021

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