Make Your Own Magnificent Mulled Cider

by Mama Loves A Drink

A warming winter recipe with a golden hue and enhancting festive scent

A close cousin to mulled wine is mulled cider – as the name might suggest made from Apple Cider!

Here we share our favourite recipe – but we know there are plenty of variations out there depending on where you come from in the world and your taste preferences.

This recipe is part of our favourite Christmas Cocktails series. You may also like to check out our non-alcoholic drinks collection for perfect Christmas Mocktails.

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2 tall glasses of hot mulled cider

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Tools you will need for making a mulled cider

  • Saucepan
  • Strainer
  • Tall serving glasses – or your favourite winter mug!

Find all our favourite tools for your home cocktail bar here.

Mulled cider

3 glasses of steamping hot mulled cider

A wonderful warming winter drink traditionally drank around Christmas

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 3 x 750ml bottles apple cider
  • 60ml dark rum (optional)
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 small orange sliced
  • Garnish - sliced apple


  1. Toast the spices first, adding the nutmeg, allspice, cloves, star anise and cinnamon to the bottom of a pot for 2 to 3 minutes
  2. Turn the stove heat to low and pour in the apple cider, rum and orange slices
  3. Bring to just before a simmer and warm for 1 hour (just bubbling don't allow to simmer)
  4. If using the rum add this at the end of the cooking time
  5. Serve by ladling into tall heatproof glasses with handles, or your favourite winter mug.
  6. Optionally garnish with the spices, cinnamon sticks or chopped apple

Variations to mulled cider

The rum is an optional extra depending on how strong and boozy you like it – you could even try spiced rum! We’ve seen other recipes suggest adding sloe gin (will give a deeper pinky-red finish with slight notes of raisin), or adding some apple and ginger tea.

We would strongly suggest if you can get your hands on it an organic cloudy apple cider rather than a sparkling cider. You want to avoid those made with added sugars, you can easily add your own sugar or some honey to the recipe if you like it sweeter.

Another variation using a cider base is to check out our recipe for Wassail.

Non-alcoholic apple cider

You can easily adapt this recipe for all your family to enjoy using cloudy apple juice instead of apple cider, and omitting the rum of course!

Adding a pre-mixed spice to your mulled cider

This is totally not cheating! It can be hard at times to source all the ingredients, or it might seem wasteful to buy a whole pack of something that will simply sit on the shelf until next year. A perfect pot-sized portion of pre-packaged mulling spices (they can be the same as for mulled wine) is a perfectly sensible and acceptable way to go about it!

Here are some beautifully pre-packaged suggestions you can get on Etsy:

If you want to see our full selection of mulled wine gifts ideas, pop over here.

We’d be on the look out for anything that contains those festive mulling fragrances including:

  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Ginger
  • Clove
  • Allspice
  • Star Anise

To make with mulling spices, simply follow all the steps above but your spice kit will be immediately ready for toasting.

More Christmas drinks ideas

As well as checking out our complete guide to Christmas cocktails, you may also be interested in our Christmas gift guides for drink-lovers. We cover everything from stylish glassware for your drinks cabinet through to our favourite gifts for lovers of mulled wine!

If you’re still seeking out that perfect gift idea or stocking stuffer, pop on over for some inspiration here >>

Mama Loves A Drink advocates quality over quantity. Always drink responsibly!

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