Festive Spiked Cranberry Mulled Apple Cider

Gluten Free

This Hot Spiked Cranberry Mulled Cider recipe is the perfect holiday drink for a crowd. An easy cocktail made in the crock pot with apple cider, cranberry juice, cinnamon, clove, star anise, orange slices and spiked with spiced rum. A must make for your next holiday party!

Looking for more mulled drinks? Try my Spiked Hot Apple Cider or my Holiday Spiced Mulled Wine.

overhead photo of festive spiked cranberry mulled apple cider garnished with cinnamon and cranberries

Spiked Hot Mulled Cider

Ok, so I know I don’t live in a state where it’s 20°F or below over the holidays. But I use to, so I know what it’s like to freeze your little you know what off. When it’s that cold outside. There is nothing like a holding a warm cup of apple cider in your hands to warm you right up!

My mom use to make a big batch of it every year. She would let it simmer most of the day and the whole house would smell divine! 

Well, today I’m changing up her recipe up a bit with a few big bold spices, cranberry juice and some spiced rum (a.k.a. “daddy juice”) to spike things up a bit! You’re going to love it!

overhead photo of festive spiked cranberry mulled apple cider in a dutch oven

What Spices Do You Use for Hot Mulled Cider?

Mulled Apple Cider is typically made with cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg and sometimes star anise. I like to use the spices in whole form and place them in a spice ball, similar to this for maximum impact!

My Tips for the Best Hot Mulled Cider:

  1. Apple Cider over Apple Juice – Apple Cider is unfiltered, think raw apple juice! It has a more natural apple flavor!
  2. Fresh Citrus – Some people add just the peel and some add the citrus juice. I like to add the entire slice of orange for a stronger orange flavor.
  3. Spice Ball – Use whole spices and place them in a spice ball (you can get it at the store or on amazon), this really allows the spices to seep into the apple cider and give it that strong spiced taste.
  4. Toast your Spices – This simple step really draws the essence of the spices out.
  5. Spike it! – I love to add a spiced rum to my mulled cider for that final touch, omit this step if the cider needs to be kid friendly.

how to make festive spiked cranberry mulled apple cider

overhead photo of a glassed filled with spiked cranberry mulled apple cider

Ingredients You’ll Need for this Spiked Cranberry Mulled Apple Cider:

  • Apple Cider – the raw natural flavor from the cider is key to this recipe
  • Cranberry Juice – gives the mulled cider a nice tart twist
  • Orange Slices – you get the benefit of both the orange peel and the juice
  • Whole Spices – cinnamon, allspice, clove and star anise
  • Spiced Rum – spiced rum compliments the spices I use in this recipe 

Does Mulled Apple Cider Have Alcohol?

No. Normally mulled apple cider does not contain alcohol. But for an adult version of this warm holiday drink you can add spiced rum, bourbon, whiskey, brandy or cognac. When adding the alcohol make sure to add it at the end or the alcohol will cook off.

close up photo of festive spiked cranberry mulled apple cider

How Make Hot Mulled Apple Cider in the Crockpot

  1. To crock pot, add apple cider, cranberry juice, orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Then to a spice ball add star anise, whole cloves and whole allspice.
  2. Simmer for 2-3 hours.
  3. Add rum to the mulled apple cider mixture.
  4. Remove fruit and spices from the pot.

Note: if you are serving this at a party I’d suggest leaving the rum on the side for your guests to add after the fact if they choose, otherwise the alcohol will cook out while you keep the cider warm.

How Long Does Mulled Apple Cider Keep?

If kept in the refrigerator, typically mulled cider for will last up to 3 days. If alcohol was added to the cider it will be cooked out when you reheat the cider, but the flavor will still be there. I like to reheat mine in a dutch oven on the stove!

Everything about this festive holiday drink will make you happy. Believe me, your crazy family will become more enjoyable and they will love the spiced flavor bursting from each sip. Plus you can’t get easier than adding everything to a crock pot and turning it on, am I right? 

This is definitely a must make if you’re an apple cider fan! The star anise adds so much depth to the drink so don’t spike that step!

More Holiday Cocktails To Try:

overhead photo of spiked cranberry mulled apple cider on a tray

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overhead photo of spiked cranberry mulled apple cider on a tray

Hot Spiked Cranberry Mulled Apple Cider

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 5 min
  • cook_time Cook Time: 3 hr
  • total_time Total Time: 3 hr 5 min
  • yield Yield: 20 1x
  • category Category: Cocktail, Holiday, Crock Pot, Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Drinks, Gluten Free
  • method Method: Crock Pot
  • cuisine Cuisine: American

Description

This Hot Spiked Cranberry Mulled Cider recipe is the perfect holiday drink for a crowd. An easy cocktail made in the crock pot with apple cider, cranberry juice, cinnamon, clove, star anise, orange slices and spiked with spiced rum.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 large orange, cut into 1/4” slices
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 1/2 cups spiced rum (I used Captain Morgan)

Instructions

  1. To crock pot, add apple cider, cranberry juice, orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Then to a spice ball add star anise, whole cloves and whole allspice.
  2. Simmer for 2-3 hours.
  3. Add rum to the mulled apple cider mixture.
  4. Remove fruit and spices from the pot.
  5. Serve!

(optional: garnish with orange slices, apple slices or spices)


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8 oz.
  • Calories: 154
  • Sugar: 28 g
  • Sodium: 50 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g

Keywords: mulled cider, mulled cider recipe, apple cider, how to make mulled cider, cranberry apple, mulled cider crock pot, spices for mulled cider, holiday cocktails, holiday cocktail recipe, spiked apple cider, spiked mulled cider, hot apple cider recipe, hot crockpot cider

 

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Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }

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