This classic mulled apple cider is served warm and full of delicious fall spices. It only takes 10 minutes to make and you can even add some red or wine wine if you want to enhance the flavor!
Mulled apple cider is a staple fall drink. This warm and cozy beverage is probably my favorite concoction to sip on on chilly fall and winter days. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are when we’d visit family in the US and my brother and I would play outside in scarves and sweaters, jumping in piles of beautiful fall leaves. My aunt would prepare mulled apple cider on the stove along with delicious apple pie and we’d drink the cider outside out of giant mugs she kept in her cabinet. I still adore this drink, and now as an adult, I love adding some red wine to it to dress it up a bit.
How to make mulled apple cider
Mulled apple cider is so incredibly simple to make. I suggest starting by adding one cup of your favorite white or red wine, either dry or half-dry. Simply combine the apple cider, spices, sliced orange and apple in a saucepan let it all simmer for at least 10 minutes to steep and deepen the flavors.
What type of apple cider should I use?
This drink tastes the best when made with unsweetened, natural apple cider without any extra flavorings or spices. It should be in the refrigerated section of the supermarket and have a slightly cloudy appearance.
Adding wine to your cider
You can use any type of wine you like. I suggest starting by adding one cup of your favorite white or red wine, either dry or half-dry. I usually add 1-3 cups of wine to an entire batch, but you can adjust this based on how much you like. If you prefer more, continue to add until you reach the desired taste.
Here are some basic guidelines of how much wine to add:
- One cup is ideal if you want a strong apple cider flavor, especially if you’re using white wine.
- Two cups will produce a great balance of flavors from the wine and the cider.
- More than two cups produces a very strong wine flavor that might begin overpowering the cider, depending on the type of wine.
You might also want to add a sweetener such as honey, pure maple syrup, or sugar. About 2-4 tablespoons should be enough if you’re adding two cups of wine, depending on the sweetness of the wine and how sweet you want your drink.
Add the wine and sweetener after simmering the other ingredients for 10 minutes, and heat through. I like to add the wine at the end so that the alcohol doesn’t evaporate too much.
Tips for making mulled apple cider or apple cider wine
- You can add the zest and juice of 1 orange instead of adding slices; both options taste great. On the other hand, if you want to totally skip the orange, that’s okay too.
- Strain the drink before pouring into glasses if you want to remove the fruit and spices if you prefer drinking it without them.
- If adding wine, add it before serving, after the cider has mulled so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate.
- If the cider isn’t sweet enough after adding the desired amount of wine, you can sweeten it with a few tablespoons of honey or sugar. Start with 1-2 tablespoons and add until you’ve reach desired sweetness.
More fall and winter beverage recipes:
- White Chocolate Chai Latte: White chocolate and spiced chai come together in a sweet, creamy, comforting drink that’s perfect for winter.
- Hot Chocolate: This classic hot chocolate recipe is rich and indulgent. Add a few marshmallows to this decadent drink and it’s perfect for the holiday season.
- Perfect Red Sangria: Dress up your family get togethers with this fruity and mildly spiced red sangria.
- 2 quarts/liters apple cider
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5 whole cloves
- 1/4 whole nutmeg , finely grated
- 3 star anise
- 1 vanilla pod split lengthwise or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 orange , thinly sliced
- 1 apple , cut into small cubes or thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
In a large saucepan place apple cider, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, vanilla, and orange slices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
Ladle into cups, add apples for garnish, and serve hot.