Slow Cooker Hot Spiced (Mulled) Apple Cider
It’s fall, you say? Wait. Wait just a second.
Grab an orange. Stick some cloves in it. Throw it in your Crock Pot along with a few cinnamon sticks and a bottle of apple cider. Turn it on. Wait four hours. Slow Cooker Apple Cider! The mulled cider of your dreams. A wassail wonderland.
Have you ever wondered, “How do you make mulled cider?” Well, you just learned how! Now you have hot apple cider in your warm little hands. And, with wassail in your life, NOW it can be fall.
Not only is this Slow Cooker Hot Spiced Apple Cider recipe seriously that easy, it’s also quintessentially autumn. Mulled cider looks like fall. It tastes like fall. It makes the entire house smell like fall. Some call it hot spiced cider, others wassail. I just call it delicious. (Actually, I call it all of the above).
My favorite part about this hot Crock Pot apple cider recipe is the orange. It just looks so festive, and tiny amount of orange juice that comes out, the oils from the peel, and the cloves impart the most wonderful, heady flavors – both into your cider and in the air. Hot spiced apple cider is seriously the ultimate air freshener.
This hot apple cider warms you up after an hour or two of kicking around in the fall leaves or picking out that perfect pumpkin or trick-or-treating on a perfectly frosty night when you can see your breath.
And for the adults, you can add a perfect extra little warming factor: RUM.
I know, I know, by now we’ve all seen a gazillion hot spiced apple cider recipes. But this mulled cider, I think, is special because it takes only four whole ingredients – no special mulling spices required.
Plus, it utilizes that wondrous kitchen appliance – the slow cooker – so you don’t have to stand over the stove or worry about keeping it at the perfect temperature once it’s ready to be served. It just sits there on your kitchen counter, being awesome, until everyone happily drinks it all down.
Yep. Bring it on, fall!
Frequently asked questions:
Can I make this mulled cider on the stovetop?
Yes, you can! Use a large pot and bring just to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to just below a simmer and cover. Warm for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld then serve.
Do I peel the orange before poking in the cloves?
No, leave the peel intact. It’s those glorious oils in the peel that give it the wonderful mulled cider flavor. Slicing the orange exposes the pitch and can make the batch bitter.
If I double or triple the recipe, do I need to add more than one orange?
Nah, one orange should do it! I would add a few more cloves to the orange for oomph though.
Can I make this mulled cider beforehand then reheat when I want to serve it?
Yes, absolutely. When we do this, we either just cover the cooled Slow Cooker crock with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge or we will even pour the cooled cider back into the cider bottle to store it.
Can I add rum or brandy before I heat it up instead of after?
Please don’t! It’ll all evaporate. Add your spirits when serving.
Slow Cooker Hot Spiced Apple Cider (Wassail)
With just four ingredients – okay, five if you spike it with your favorite rum – this Crock Pot hot spiced apple cider couldn’t be any easier to make. It’s the perfect excuse to get out there and rake the leaves.
- 2 quarts (64 ounces or 8 cups) apple cider
- 6 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks, plus more for serving if desired
- 1 medium naval orange*
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves
- Rum of your choice (optional)
- Additional cinnamon sticks for serving (optional)
- Pour apple cider into a 2.5-quart or larger Crock Pot or other slow cooker. Add cinnamon sticks to cider.
- With a toothpick, poke holes all around the orange, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch apart. Carefully poke the cloves into the toothpick holes in the orange.
- Place orange into the cider in the slow cooker.
- Cook on low until hot and spiced through, about 4 hours. Ladle into mugs along with an ounce or so of rum if using. Place a cinnamon stick in each glass if desired and serve.
* I recommend an organic orange as it will be soaking in the cider for several hours and personally, organic just makes me feel better in this particular case 🙂
Yield: Serves 8, Serving Size: 1 cup
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 120 Calories
- Sodium: 60mg
- Carbohydrates: 30g
- Sugar: 29g