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Hot Apple Cider Recipe

Forget the expensive, sugary caramel macchiatos and embrace a cup of hot apple cider instead. 

Trust me, it turns your kitchen into a delightful apple-infused paradise. The steamy aroma will have you hypnotized and craving more with every cozy sip. 

It’s so much better than a Yankee Candle. (And better tasting, too.)

Glass of Warm Apple Cider and Cinnamon Stick
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Easy and Delicious Hot Apple Cider

Hot apple cider is a classic fall and winter favorite, especially on those chilly days. 

With its spiced and subtle sweet flavor, it is the perfect pick-me-up! 

Unlike plain ciders, hot apple cider contains cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and other spices. They add a tantalizing extra kick! 

These spices combine to create an indulgent and comforting aroma. Every whiff envelops you like a cozy blanket. 

I sometimes spice up my apple cider by adding cinnamon sticks or brandy. Sometimes, I even add a splash of cranberry juice!

Each sip of this delicious beverage brings different flavors – from tart apples to warm spices. You won’t be able to resist going in for seconds!

Warm Apple Cider on a Glass With Cinnamon


  • Apple cider – This essential ingredient creates a delicate balance between smooth and tangy flavors. It provides a zippy sourness that cuts through the cinnamony sweetness of the other ingredients.
    • This lifts the cider’s flavor profile and gives it enough zest without overpowering it.
  • Maple syrup – Adding a hint of maple syrup provides a full-bodied flavor to this beloved seasonal drink.
    • Honey is an excellent substitute. It has a similar sweet flavor that complements the cider perfectly.
  • Spices – We owe much of the cider’s delicious flavor to cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. This flavor trifecta brings out the sweetness of the cider as no other combination can.
    • Substitute cloves with nutmeg or cardamom for a different yet delightful flavor experience.
  • Orange and Lemon Peels – With their fragrant aroma, citrus peels provide a tasty twist to this time-honored treat. Muddle the peels in the warm cider to release their oils.
    • Let their invigorating smells glide you into the upcoming holiday season.
Two Glasses of Homemade Warm Apple Cider

How to Make Hot Apple Cider

These steps will guide you through creating this deliciously soothing drink. Time to get cozy and enjoy your warm cup of spiced cider!

Step 1 – Combine maple syrup and apple cider. 

  • Add the maple syrup and apple cider to a large stainless steel saucepan. Adjust the amount of maple syrup to your taste preferences. 
  • You can even use honey or brown sugar as a substitute.

Step 2 – Create a spice bundle. 

  • Gather cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel, and lemon peel. 
  • Place them in the center of a clean cheesecloth square. Wrap up the sides of the cloth to enclose the aromatics.
  • You can also use a tea infuser or a reusable muslin bag as an alternative.

Step 3 – Put the bundle in the cider. 

  • Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture, making sure it’s submerged. 
  • Simmer the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes over moderate heat until steaming hot. But it should not be boiling.
  • Add fresh ginger, cardamom, or star anise for added flavor.

Step 4 – Enjoy your drink! 

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  • Take the cider off the stove, and remove the spice bundle.. Ladle the hot cider into big cups or mugs.
  • Add a fresh cinnamon stick to each serving if desired. 
  • You can also add a splash of rum or bourbon for a boozy twist.

Tips for the Best Hot Apple Cider

  • Choose the best apple cider. Use a plain apple cider. Ideally, it should be made with both sweet and tart apples. 
  • Don’t boil the cider. Heat the cider over low heat to prevent boiling, which can cause a bitter taste.
  • Sweeten to taste. Use natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar. These add sweetness without overpowering the natural apple flavor.
  • Try a spiced apple cider cocktail. Add a splash of rum, whiskey, or brandy for a warming, adults-only drink. 
  • Experiment with flavors:.Mix in other fruits like cranberries or pears. Or, add spices like ginger or nutmeg to create your own unique hot apple cider.

How to Store

Extend the shelf life of your apple cider by storing it properly. To do this, you have two options: refrigeration or freezing.

Here’s how to refrigerate your apple cider:

  • Strain it through a fine-meshed sieve. This helps to remove any solids or impurities.
  • Store it in an airtight container.
  • Your apple cider will stay fresh for 7-10 days.

But you can freeze it to keep your apple cider fresh for longer.

  • Strain the cider through a fine-meshed sieve.
  • Transfer it to an airtight container. 
  • Leave at least 1/2-inch of space at the top of the container. Apple cider expands when frozen, and without the extra space, your container can break. 
  • The cider can be frozen for up to 12 months.

Thaw your frozen apple cider in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to use it. 

Once it has thawed completely, you can enjoy it hot or cold. You can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. Either way, stir it before you serve it. 

Now, you can enjoy the taste of fresh apple cider all year round.

Hot Apple Cider



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Hot apple cider is the epitome of fall. From its spiced aromatics to bright apple flavor, this easy homemade recipe is pure bliss. You’ll savor every sip.


  • 6 cups apple cider

  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 6 whole cloves

  • 6 whole allspice berries

  • 1 orange peel, cut into strips

  • 1 lemon peel, cut into strips


  • Get ready to spice things up by pouring some apple cider and maple syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan.
  • Now it’s time to bundle up! Place some cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel, and lemon peel in the center of a square of cloth.
  • Wrap up the sides of the cheesecloth to create a cozy bundle, and tie it up with a string or something similar.
  • Put the cloth and spice bundle in the cider.
  • Turn up the heat! Place the saucepan over moderate heat for 5 to 10 minutes. The cider should be piping hot, but not fully reaching the boiling point.
  • Time to unveil the magic. Remove the cider from the heat, and throw away the cloth bundle.
  • Pour the warm cider into big cups. Don’t forget to add a fresh cinnamon stick to every drink for ultimate pleasure.
Hot Apple Cider

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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