One of my favorite hot cider recipes, Mulled Cranberry Cider is warming and delicious without being too sweet. With a little rum – or even some red wine, too – you’ve got yourself a winning holiday cocktail.

mulled cranberry cider

Me: “Oooh, I think today is a good day for Mulled Cranberry Cider!”

My guy: “Do you think we have the rum to support that?”

That’s my guy – officer thinking all the way. (And yes, of course we did!)

Mulled Cranberry Cider

I first caught wind of the idea of hot cranberry cider on a Martha Stewart Thankgiving Special. It was this episode – or one I caught around that time – where they showed a blooper reel and in one, she was cluelessly holding up two melons at chest level, talking very seriously about how to choose the ripest – apparently they didn’t realize the, um, gravity of the situation until after filming the segment. You just have to see it, but it’s hee-larious.

I love that Martha can laugh at herself – especially because she just sometimes comes across as the type of person (as much as I love her) that can’t. And that she’s down with the whole Whatever, Martha! thing? Bless her. She rocks.

So anyway, Mulled Cranberry Cider. It’s good stuff, especially for this time of year, and especially with rum. I like this better than hot apple cider, actually – it’s a little easier to drink because it’s not cloyingly sweet. Which actually can make this a little dangerous with rum – consider yourself warned! Here’s my version.

(You can warm this on the stove top, too – I just love the Crock Pot for stuff like this.)

Cozy, warm, happy holidays to you! The holiday season is officially here.

Along similar lines (except cold) check out this recipe from Cooking Light for Spicy Rum Punch. I need to try this one next.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 hr 30 mins
Total: 1 hr 35 mins

Slow Cooker Mulled Cranberry Cider

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Cranberry and apple juices are simmered with fruit and sweet wine to create a hot beverage that will warm you up from the inside out!
Yield: 10 servings


  • 2 quarts Cranberry-Apple Juice (I get the bottle from Trader Joe's OR 1 quart each cranberry juice and apple cider)
  • 1 orange (cut into wedges)
  • 1/2 lemon (cut into wedges)
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey (to taste)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup red wine (optional, I just find this is an excellent use for that last little bit of leftover red wine, plus it adds a nice little oomph)
  • Rum (optional)


  • Add all ingredients (except rum, if using) to the Crock Pot, and cook on high for about an hour and a half, or low for about three hours. Switch the Crock Pot to the warm setting, and it's ready to serve when you're ready to drink! You can also warm this in the stovetop. Let simmer very gently, covered, for about 30 minutes.
  • Ladle the cider into mugs (leaving the fruit in the Crock Pot). I like to throw another cinnamon stick in there for good measure. Those nice long cinnamon sticks that double as a stirrer would work even better.
  • Oh right, the rum! Add a shot of rum to your glass before you ladle in the cider, if you are rum-inclined.

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