Fill your home with the warm sweet and spicy aromas of Homemade Hot Apple Cider as it bubbles away on the stove or in a crockpot. Enjoy it hot or cold, with alcohol or without. Nothing says warm and cozy like a mug of hot cider.
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away…but does that apply when this sturdy tree fruit is part of a vintage Apple Dapple Cake? Or how about when it’s in a savoury Apple and Sausage Stuffing? No matter which way you slice them, apples are great in almost any application.
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Hot Apple Cider
Today’s theme is warm and cozy! Outside, the wind is blowing like crazy but I have a mug of steaming Hot Apple Cider to fend off the cold winter chill. This hot fall and winter beverage is full of flavour from sweet and tart apples, aromatic warming spices with just a touch of sweetness.
Hot Apple Cider is so easy to make ahead for large gatherings or to keep on hand for when you crave a little comfort. It simmers away on the stove and makes your house smell amazing. I like to think of it as an edible air freshener!
This hot apple cider recipe contains only simple wholesome ingredients; fresh fruit, water, and warming spices. The best part?!! No added preservatives and you can adjust the sugar level to your liking.
Does Hot Apple Cider Contain Alcohol?
Just to be clear, this is a recipe for non alcoholic hot apple cider, not the fermented apple cider (or hard cider) you can buy at the liquor store. There’s no brewing involved in making this cider, only stovetop (or slow cooker) simmering.
However, that’s not to say you can’t add some alcohol to this cider for an extra special treat. This hot apple cider pairs nicely with a splash of brandy or bourbon, whisky or even spiced rum. However, be sure to add the alcohol after the simmering is over or the alcohol will evaporate away.
While this ingredients list is fairly basic, once they are all together simmering away, magic happens! You can choose to use one, a few, or all of the flavourings according to your personal flavour preferences.
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Whole Cloves
- Cardamom Pods
- Star Anise
- Brown Sugar
You may be thinking…why is there an orange in this apple cider recipe? The answer is that the citrus rounds out the flavour and keeps the final beverage from becoming too sweet. I have made this recipe with a Meyer Lemon and it works well, though a regular lemon may bring too much acidity.
There is no measurement for the water because the amount needed will depend up on the size of your pot. I often double this recipe and use a huge stock pot. I add as much liquid as needed to cover the fruit, and then I add a bit more. You can always adjust the water level while the cider is simmering.
Use fresh whole spices in this recipe for best results. Much of this recipe depends upon your own flavour preferences. While I suggest cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, sliced fresh ginger, cardamom, star anise, and nutmeg you may combine any (or all) of these spices to make it your own.
Brown sugar has a warm, caramel flavour that pairs well with apples and spices. You can also use granulated sugar or even honey to sweeten your cider. Start with a small amount and taste test it to see if more sugar is needed. You can always add more sugar but you can never remove it!
Which Apples Are Best For Hot Apple Cider?
I saved the best (and most important ingredient) for last. There would be no apple cider without apples! While you can use any apple for this recipe, I highly recommend you use the ones you like to eat or bake with. Additionally, this is the perfect recipe to use up any languishing apples hanging out in the fridge.
Tart, or sour apples such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Jonagold, McIntosh, or Granny Smith are my favourite for cider. However, sweet apple varieties such as Red or Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, or Cortland will round out the flavour and add a natural sweetness.
Other fruits that would be delicious in this cider are pears, cranberries, or pomegranate seeds. The latter two make a stunningly rich red festive cider during the holidays.
How to Make Hot Apple Cider
Wash all the fruit and cut it into quarters. Core the apples, then place them all in a large Dutch oven, stockpot, crockpot (or slow cooker).
Next, add the spices: cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, star anise, ginger slices, cardamon, or nutmeg. You can use all or select your favourites from this list. The recipe is intended as a guideline only so add as many or as little as you like.
Fill the pot with water, allowing enough space for the contents to reach a light simmer. Bring everything to a boil over medium heat, Once it boils for a minute or so, reduce to a slow simmer.
Simmer stovetop until the fruit is very soft. It will take just over an hour and a half for the fruit to soften. If you use a slow cooker cook on low heat for 6-7 hours (or high heat for 3).
Once the fruit is soft, use a potato masher or the back of a large wooden spoon to mash it up. Add half of the sugar, allow it to dissolve and taste. Add more sugar if needed.
Slowly simmer the sweetened apple cider for another hour, then strain the mixture with a fine-mesh strainer, or double strain it with a cheesecloth on top of the fine mesh strainer. This may take a while as the mixture is quite thick.
Serve hot, garnished with a cinnamon stick, whole star anise, or a fresh apple slice sitting on the rim of the glass. Add a splash of brandy or bourbon, whisky or even spiced rum for a boozy treat.
This apple cider freezes well for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or reheat directly in a saucepan. Or, if you have any leftovers, use the apple cider in a brine. It’s fabulous with pork in Apple Cider Brined Pork Rib Roast.
If you make this Homemade Hot Apple Cider, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 1 large orange
- 8-10 medium apples
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
- 2- 3 whole star anise (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cardamom pods (optional)
- 1 whole nutmeg (optional)
- allspice (optional)
- 2-3 fresh slices ginger root (optional)
- Enough water to cover all the fruit (and what fits in the pot)
- Wash all the fruit and cut into quarters. Core the apples.
- Place fruit in a large Dutch oven, stockpot, or crockpot.
- Add desired spices: cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, allspice, ginger slices, cardamon, nutmeg.
- Fill the pot with water, allowing enough room for the contents to reach a light simmer.
- Bring everything to a boil over medium-high heat, Once it boils for a minute or so, reduce to a slow simmer.
- Simmer stovetop until the fruit is very soft. If you use a slow cooker cook on low heat for 6-7 hours (or high heat for 3).
- Once the fruit is soft, use a potato masher or the back of a large wooden spoon to mash it up.
- Add half of the sugar, allow it to dissolve and taste. Add more sugar if needed.
- Allow to simmer on low for one more hour.
- Strain the mixture with a fine-mesh strainer, or double strain it with a cheesecloth on top of the fine mesh strainer.
- Serve hot, garnished with a cinnamon stick, whole star anise, or a fresh apple slice sitting on the rim of the glass. To do this, thinly slice half an apple and cut an inverted triangle close to the skin. Rub each side of the slice with a bit of lemon juice to prevent it from browning.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 6gSugar: 31gProtein: 1g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.