Try this Slow Cooker Mulled Cider for the EASIEST large batch drink recipe you’ll ever need. A perfect mug of cozy for chilly days and nights, AND an awesome holiday drink. So delicious!
Growing up in the Midwest meant that fall was not only cool days and beautiful colors, but it meant APPLE ORCHARDS. We spent many a free weekend day at the orchards, picking apples and eating them right off of the trees, until we were practically sick to our stomachs. Apples were fairly cheap back in the day, and so Mom loaded up and got right to work making pies, sauces, jams, and everything apple. We often sipped cider at the orchards, and there really was nothing better.
So many wonderful memories of apple picking. It wasn’t until Mom and Dad were empty nesters that their own apple tree started bearing fruit.
This cider was served at our Thanksgiving with my husband’s side of the family, and then I made it again recently for our youngest and his friends (when they kicked me out of my kitchen so they could play Dungeons and Dragons). 😀
There are MANY reasons why this mulled cider is a sure win for a group.
- It takes 5 minutes to prep. Seriously!
- Start the slow cooker, and leave it (so you can get everything else ready).
- Makes your house smell AHHHH-mazing.
- This recipe feeds a large crowd. WIN!
- It’s way healthier than a bunch of sugar-y soda.
How do you make Slow Cooker Mulled Cider?
- Dump the apple cider into a large slow cooker. Turn the heat on the low setting.
- Slice up an orange and add it to the cider.
- Take a cheese cloth, and place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise inside the cloth. Form a small sack by tying it together. Drop the entire cheese cloth in the cider. (See the pictures above.)
- Let the cider cook for about 3-4 hours, or until heated through and fragrant.
- Turn the slow cooker to the keep warm setting, and serve in mugs with garnishes.
- Add some spiced rum (for legal adults only)!
Apple Cider or Apple Juice?
Well, is there a difference? YES! Fresh apple cider is actually raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment. Apple juice is juice that has been filtered to remove solids. It is also pasteurized so that it will stay fresh longer.
Using apple cider is a must for this mulled cider recipe. You can tell the difference visually because cider is cloudy, while juice is more clear in color.
How do you make Mulled Cider into a cocktail?
I never thought you’d ask! You can definitely make this boozy, by adding either spiced rum or brandy. We like the spiced rum, but the choice is yours.
Make this apple recipe next: Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce
Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.
- 1 gallon apple cider
- 8 whole cloves
- 4 whole cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole star anise
- 2 large oranges - sliced thin
- sliced oranges, apples, and cinnamon sticks - to serve
- spiced rum - optional, add before serving
In a slow cooker, combine the apple cider, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and the oranges. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, and then turn to the keep warm setting.
Serve the cider in mugs, garnished with oranges, apples, and cinnamon sticks or star anise. Add a couple ounces of spiced rum, if desired.
- Use apple cider instead of apple juice, for best results.
- You can adjust the spices to your liking.
- A cheese cloth will help keep the spices in one place, but not required.