Curl up with a warm mug of this perfectly sweet and spicy mulled cranberry apple cider. One sip and you will see why this should be the official beverage of the season.
Warm apple cider, tart cranberries with spicy ginger, fragrant cinnamon, star anise and clove slowly simmered together and filling your home with the most intoxicating aromas. Your neighbors will be knocking on your door wondering what wonderful concoction you have brewing.
Warm mulled cranberry apple cider is quite literally the best way to welcome guests into your home during the chilly fall and winter months. It is a crowd pleaser and perfect for large gatherings. Easily prepared in your slow cooker, and kept warm all night long. But don't blame me if it doesn't last all night. You’ll be preparing a second batch before you know it!
Tips for Making Warm Mulled Cranberry Apple Cider:
- Choosing the right cider is imperative. Opt for a natural cider, not apple juice. I love to purchase a gallon from a local farm. Be sure the cider does not have any added sugar or spices.
- To create a perfectly tart counterpart blend together fresh cranberries and ginger. Fresh cranberries are a key flavor component to this tart and sweet cider.
- For a smoother finished product pour the cranberry mixture through a strainer or cheesecloth.
- Slice thick rounds of fresh orange and carefully “decorate” the orange slices with whole clove. This is the perfect way to infuse clove into the cider without having to fish out cloves once the cider is ready to serve.
- Add a few slices of apple to the cider to garnish at the end of cooking. If you put the apple into the cider too soon it will become mushy.
I made this version in my Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting for 4 hours, but I found it was ready to enjoy after only an hour or 2. I was also antsy to get my hands on the goods!
This was the official beverage for Thanksgiving in my house and is making a repeat performance at Christmas and maybe even New Years. It's that good. Feel free to leave a good quality bottle of bourbon nearby for those that want a little spike, because a bourbon apple cranberry cider is something altogether different and glorious.
Warm Mulled Cranberry Apple Cider
- 1 gallon apple cider
- 1 whole orange, sliced
- 1 tbsp whole cloves
- 2 cups fresh cranberries (plus more for garnish)
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- 5 whole cinnamon sticks
- 5-10 whole star anise
- 1 whole apple sliced
- Prepare orange slices by carefully studding rind with whole cloves, set aside.
- In a high speed blender combine cranberries, ginger, and 1/2 cup apple cider. Blend until smooth. Reserve.
- Pour remaining apple cider into a slow cooker or large stock pot. Add cranberry mixture (*optional, pour cranberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth for a smoother texture), cinnamon sticks, star anise and orange slices studded with whole clove.
- Star anise is fruit from a small oriental tree, it is tough skinned and rust-colored, and it is picked before it can ripen and dried.
- Simmer on low for one hour or alternatively prepare in slow cooker on low for 4 hours
- Serve warm with sliced apple and cinnamon sticks.
- Can be prepared on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
- Straining the cranberry mixture before adding to the cider will produce a smoother finished product
- If you cook in a slow cooker cook time is around 4 hours on low, I've found that it's aromatic and ready to drink after only a few hours, but I tend to just keep it on low or warm all night long.
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