Homemade Apple Cider

LAST UPDATED: Oct 02, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Sep 24, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

An iconic taste of fall, homemade apple cider is the coziest gift of this brief season. Warm, perfectly spiced, fragrant and utterly delicious, making a batch of this apple cider recipe will be the best way to celebrate all things autumn!

‘Tis the season for apple everything! If you’re looking for the ultimate serving of comfort in a mug, this homemade apple cider recipe is just the ticket.

Two cast iron pots on a stove in a white kitchen filled with a homemade apple cider recipe simmering.

Homemade Apple Cider is deceivingly easy to make. Much like stovetop potpourri, you simply combine water, apples and mulling spices and allow to simmer, filling your home with an amazing aroma!

While my mulled wine and non-alcoholic mulled wine are super cozy choices for your fall and winter gatherings, hot apple cider is always a hit with the kids as much as the adults!

A marble surface with clear mugs full of homemade apple cider, whole apples to the side.

It tastes like a warm and fragrant slice of apple pie – incorporating all of your favorite apple pie spices. It’s full of warmth and flavor that will make even the chilliest evening feel cozy.

Of course you can always buy a container of local apple cider and just dress it up a little for fun. However, it’s so easy to make your own and that makes it feel so special!

What’s the secret in this homemade cider? A little hint of citrus adds bright flavor and takes this cider over the top!

Two cast iron pots on a stove in a white kitchen filled with a homemade apple cider recipe simmering.

There’s no wrong way to enjoy Apple Cider – you can drink it warm or chilled, depending on your location and weather. In fact, I’m dreaming of enjoying a steaming mug around our fire pit this weekend. Who’s in?

A marble surface with clear mugs full of homemade apple cider, whole apples and cinnamon sticks to the side.

What is Apple Cider?

Apple Cider is an unfiltered drink made from mashed apples, often mulled with spices and served warm or cold. Depending on the time period and region, it is also referred to as sweet cider, simply cider and soft cider.

Why You’ll Love this Spiced Apple Cider

  • Customizable – You can adjust the flavors, sweetness and spices to your preference.
  • Simple – Combine, simmer and sieve.
  • Smells Like Potpourri – Your home will smell amazing for days!
  • Feels Special – enough for a party but simple enough for a family weekend.
A marble surface with the ingredients for a homemade cider recipe laid out.

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe Ingredients

  • Apples – this is especially perfect for any of the “imperfect” apples you picked from the apple orchard.
  • Oranges – we use peeled oranges, but if you want your cider more tart, feel free to leave the orange peels on.
  • Brown Sugar – I love the rich flavor brown sugar adds to cider. You can use white granulated sugar, honey, syrup, or agave if you prefer.
  • Cinnamon – Ground or cinnamon sticks.
  • Whole Cloves – so fragrant!
  • Allspice – whole or ground. Ground adds a beautifully spiced effect to the look of your cider.
  • Vanilla Bean Pod – Completely optional but I love how the soft vanilla notes pair with apple cider and give it even more flavor.
  • Water
A cast iron pot filled with orange slices , apple slices and more to make a homemade apple cider recipe.

Variations

  • Caramel Apple Cider – Add Fleur De Sel Caramel Sauce for a fun fall twist.
  • Spiked Apple Cider with Bourbon – Simply add a shot of bourbon for a cozy cocktail!
  • Apple Cider Bourbon Slush – Freeze with bourbon for a memorable slushee.
  • Hot Buttered Cider – Add butter and rum for a delicious, creamy cocktail!
  • Rum Punch – Add 2 cups dark rum and sliced ginger.
  • Apple Cider Sangria – Add white wine or sparkling wine to make a fall infused sangria!
  • Pear Cider – Replace apples with pears.
  • Substitute Mulling Spices – Replace oranges and spices with mulling spices.

How to Make Apple Cider From Scratch

On the Stovetop

  1. Place apple halves and orange slices in large stockpot and add water over medium high heat. Add sugar and spices. A cast iron pot filled with orange slices , apple slices and more to make a homemade apple cider recipe.
  2. Bring to a boil uncovered for 1 hour. A cast iron pot filled with orange slices , apple slices and more to make a homemade apple cider recipe.
  3. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 2 hours. A cast iron pot filled with orange slices , apple slices and more to make a homemade apple cider recipe. A gray cast iron pan on a stove, filled with cooked apples and oranges for a homemade apple cider recipe.Close up shot of sliced apples in a pot of water, boiling into a homemade apple cider recipe. Close up shot of sliced apples in a pot of water, boiling into a homemade apple cider recipe.
  4. Mash using a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon to release the juices and flavors. Close up shot of sliced apples in a pot of water, boiling into a homemade apple cider recipe, a potato masher in the pot.
  5. Strain mixture using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth, discarding any solids.

In a Slow Cooker

  1. Place apple halves and orange slices in crockpot and add water. Add sugar and spices.
  2. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 6-7 hours or high for 3 hours.
  3. Mash using a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon to release the juices and flavors.
  4. Strain mixture using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth discarding any solids.
Two cast iron pots on a stove in a white kitchen filled with a homemade apple cider recipe simmering.

Serving Suggestions

  • Warm – Homemade Apple Cider is traditionally served warm on chilly fall days. Cozy mugs of fragrant cider for the win!
  • Chilled – It can also be served chilled or over ice. In areas where fall weather can also be quite warm, this is incredibly refreshing!
  • Frozen – Freezing your apple cider results in the perfect cider slush.
A marble surface with clear mugs full of homemade apple cider, whole apples to the side.

Tips

  • Leave orange peels on for more of a tart flavor to your apple cider.
  • Because apples are already quite sweet, you can easily use less sugar in this recipe.
  • Press the ingredients against your sieve or strainer to release all the extra juices.

How to Sieve Apple Cider

There are a couple methods that will work!

  1. Line your sieve or colander with several layers of cheesecloth and let the juice drip through on its own. This method is slower but very effective. A cast iron pot filled with homemade apple cider ingredients.
  2. Or, simply press the ingredients with the back of a wooden spoon against the sieve. This pushes the juices back into your pot – faster results!

Spiced Apple Cider Recipe Short Cuts

  • Make in a Crockpot – Leaving home? It’s just as easy to make and serve in a crockpot.
What is the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

Apple cider is mulled with spices and made from mashing the apples (much like applesauce) resulting in a richer apple flavor whereas apple juice is filtered.

Two cast iron pots on a stove in a white kitchen filled with a homemade apple cider recipe simmering.

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – It’s best served the day that you make it fresh, and then refrigerated any remaining cider.
  • Refrigerate – Homemade apple cider will stay fresh for about 7-10 days if it’s refrigerated.
  • Freeze – Store your apple cider in an airtight container, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space at the top, as fresh apple cider will expand as it freezes. Best used within 6 months.

How to Reheat Hot Apple Cider

  • In a slow cooker or sauce pan – Warm on low and bring to a simmer.
  • In a microwave – in 60 second increments, stir cider at each pause to ensure it’s warmed through.

How to Use Apple Cider

A marble surface with clear mugs full of homemade apple cider, whole apples and cinnamon sticks to the side.

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

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More Easy Apple Recipes

A marble surface with clear mugs full of homemade apple cider, whole apples and cinnamon sticks to the side.

Apple Cider

Julie Blanner
An iconic taste of fall, homemade apple cider is the coziest gift of this brief season. Warm, perfectly spiced, fragrant and utterly delicious, making a batch of this apple cider recipe will be the best way to celebrate all things autumn!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 137 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 apples halved
  • 1 orange sliced
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon or 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 vanilla bean pod sliced

Instructions
 

  • Place apple halves and orange slices in large stockpot and add water over medium high heat. Add sugar and spices.
  • Bring to a boil uncovered for 1 hour.
  • Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 2 hours.
  • Mash using a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon to release the juices and flavors.
  • Strain mixture using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth discarding any solids.

Notes

In a Slow Cooker

  1. Place apple halves and orange slices in crockpot and add water. Add sugar and spices.
  2. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 6-7 hours or high for 3 hours.
  3. Mash using a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon to release the juices and flavors.
  4. Strain mixture using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth discarding any solids.

Tips and Variations

  • Leave orange peels on for more of a tart flavor to your apple cider.
  • Because apples are already quite sweet, you can easily use less sugar in this recipe.
  • Press the ingredients against your sieve or strainer to release all the extra juices.
  • Spiked Apple Cider with Bourbon – Simply add a shot of bourbon for a cozy cocktail!
  • Apple Cider Bourbon Slush – Freeze with bourbon for a memorable slushee.
  • Apple Cider Sangria – Add white wine or sparkling wine to make a fall infused sangria!
  • Pear Cider – Replace apples with pears.
  • Substitute Mulling Spices – Replace oranges and spices with mulling spices.

To Store

  • At Room Temperature – It’s best served the day that you make it fresh, and then refrigerated any remaining cider.
  • Refrigerate – Homemade apple cider will stay fresh for about 7-10 days if it’s refrigerated.
  • Freeze – Store your apple cider in an airtight container, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space at the top, as fresh apple cider will expand as it freezes. Best used within 6 months.

Nutrition

Calories:137kcalCarbohydrates:36gProtein:1gFat:1gSaturated Fat:1gSodium:17mgPotassium:227mgFiber:5gSugar:29gVitamin A:123IUVitamin C:14mgCalcium:39mgIron:1mg
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
Disclosure

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