Traditional Mulled Cider Recipe

Originally publish December 30, 2012. Recipe update on December 17, 2013.

To tease your palate, here is Dave’s recipe for hot spiced cider:

Here’s to a cheer filled Holiday and New Year. This recipe is a particular favorite in the traditional cider regions of England during the Holidays and Wassailing. Americans generally mull "cider" using fresh apple juice. We like it with a dry to semi-dry fermented cider. While making the following quantity is not cheap it does go quite a ways at a party and the recipe can easily be divided into half.

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Preparation method

  • Combine the following ingredients ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer gently for 30 minutes - do not boil.


  • 2 750ml bottles (1.5 liters) of Whitewood Cider or other comparable local craft cider.
  • 1 apples quartered studded with whole cloves
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-5 allspice berries
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1-2 star anise
  • 2" piece of vanilla bean split
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • zest strips of 1/2 to 1 orange (to taste, too much can over power your drink)
  • (optional) zest strips of meyer lemon.
  • fresh squeezed orange and meyer lemon juice to taste.
  • We highly suggest apple spirits like Apple Brandy, Calvados, or even Apple Jack to taste/strength, but rum and whiskey will also work. We enjoy 3oz per 750ml bottle. 
  • slices of apple for garnish
  • If too dry, sweeten to taste with honey, sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, etc.
  • Holiday extras such as cranberries and whatever else you want to throw in (within good taste) is generally welcome. Make it your own!



Serve up and drink responsibly.