When my entire immediate family gets together at the holidays, there are two drinks that my mom always has available for us: Christmas Tea and Mulled Cider.
My mom’s Christmas tea is tea that has been steeped with cranberry juice, pineapple juice, orange juice and sugar. Lots of sugar. The mulled cider is simply a packet of spices and sugars my mom dumps into local apple cider. Both are delicious but both are LOADED with added sugars. And because I desire to have my sugars in the form of holiday cookies (like Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cookies) —I do not want to drink them.
But oh how I love both cider and Christmas tea.
So I decided to combine the flavors of mulled cider with Christmas Tea and cut out ALL added sugars. T
he verdict, is that I served it to my siblings and parents whom devoured it and only stated over and over how delicious it was–ZERO mention that it was not the traditional beverage served.
Slow Cooker Mulled Cranberry Apple Cider
The other thing worth mentioning is that I also served this lovely beverage at a Friendsgiving I hosted and I had people begging me for the link to the recipe–but I had no link to the recipe, until now 😉 You can thank my lovely friends for insisting I share this with you all!
This Mulled Apple Cider is simple and so delicious.
And want to know a budget-friendly tip for making homemade apple cider?
Use apple juice!!
The apple juice is cooked low and slow with so many other flavors that no one will know it is not cider (although it is absolutely delicious when made with Apple Cider as well.)
Apple juice and apple cider are both naturally sweet of course, but the addition of pineapple juice heightens the natural sweetness of the beverage and then the fresh cranberries and oranges bring a tartness that cuts through the sweetness and finally cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger bring warmth and a festive punch to the wassail.
Did I mention this Cider simmers in the slow cooker? You can seriously set it and forget it and allow your guests to dip right from the slow cooker for a welcomed holiday beverage.
Notes on Mulled Apple Cider:
- Use either apple cider or apple juice for this cider.
- I make Homemade Mulling Spices with fresh cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and allspice berries with fresh ginger. I also add in freshly grated nutmeg.
- If you do not have whole spices, you can use 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
- I place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, ginger and cloves in a coffee filter that I tie with butcher twine. This step is not necessary–you can place in cider whole and then fish out before serving.
- You can make this mulled cider on the stove by bringing to a boil and then turning to low and simmer on the stove for 1-2 hours.
- 1 gallon apple cider or juice
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 orange thinly sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 whole allspice berries
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 inch fresh nutmeg grated
On a coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth, place cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, and ginger. Tie off with butcher twine.
Place all ingredient in the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Fish out spices and serve.