Easy Crock-Pot Mulled Cider
From the Clucking It Up Kitchen
When we begin getting into fall, a shot goes off in my soul – it’s time for hot cider! I have to say that there is nothing more satisfying than to meander around the farm with a warm cup of mulled cider (most of the time it’s been spiked with something or another, more on that later). There’s just something warms my spirit, holding on to that cup, listening to the leaves rustle, the roosters crow and the goats chatter. It’s just well, heart-warming.
I’ll get on with the recipe, I’m sure you’re not exactly interested in the ramblings of the Flip Flop Farmer. One thing you really want to get your hands on is a good quality apple cider of course fresh pressed is best, but that isn’t always an option. What’s the difference between apple juice and apple cider? I knew you would ask that….
Apple Juice has generally been filtered and pasteurized for a longer shelf life. Apple juice many times has added sugar and other preservatives.
Apple Cider is generally freshly pressed and unfiltered (which means it still has tiny bits of apple). It’s also usually unadulterated with other additives. Again – FRESH IS BEST!
Now that you’ve got your apple cider, let’s get on with gathering up your spices. The basic mulling spices include: cinnamon sticks, star anise, orange slices (we personally like to dehydrate ours and use them that way) , whole cloves and ginger slices. Now, you can always add other flavors depending on your own tastes. We sometimes add lemon slices instead of orange, pink peppercorns give it an earthy feel in your mouth, for a little more “spice”flavor, you can add whole allspice berries. the list goes on and on and on
While all of these gorgeous flavors look beautiful floating on top of your apple cider, they do not make a tasty treat while sipping your cider. Use a cheesecloth bag or a reusable tea infuser/strainer (these are pretty handy to have around anyway) to hold all of your smaller spices, obviously you can dip around cinnamon sticks and orange slices.
Let’s make some easy crock-pot mulled cider. Pour your apple cider into your crock-pot (this is the kind we have on the farm), add your spices, cook on low for 4ish hours. See, easy peasy.
Now, we like ours spiked, boozy, loaded, drunken, alcoholic, buzzed, pickled, mixed, dirty, adulterated, tainted whatever you want to call it. Some of the liquors you could use are rum, bourbon, rye whiskey, ginger beer, scotch, cognac, a little moonshine, brandy. Personally our favorites are Apple Crown Royal (it gives it an even more intense apple flavor), Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey (it’s like candy, but it’s whiskey) and Honey Jack Daniels (think hot apple toddy).
- 1 gallon Apple Cider
- 1 orange
- 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger
- 5 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon star anise
- Slice the orange and the ginger. Pour cider into crockpot. Add cinnamon sticks and orange slices. Put ginger slices, cloves, and anise into small cheesecloth bag or tea infuser, add to crockpot. Cook on low for 4 hours.
- Serve in mugs, garnish with additional cinnamon sticks and orange slices if desired.
- If adding "spirits" add just before you begin sipping your cider. 🙂