Hot Mulled Cider

Spicy hot mulled apple cider cooked with a clove-studded orange, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom and brown sugar.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Tis the season to be jolly, and to drink hot mulled cider. This delicious hot apple cider drink is a specialty of New England. Spiced with a clove-studded orange, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon, hot mulled cider is the perfect drink to serve during the holidays.

Hot Mulled Cider Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 cups


  • 1/2 gallon of fresh, unfiltered apple cider (non-alcoholic)
  • 1 orange
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 4 3-inch sticks of cinnamon
  • 15 allspice berries
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 7 pods of cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)


1 Pour apple cider into a 3-quart saucepan, cover, turn the heat on medium-high. While cider is heating up, take a vegetable peeler and peel away a couple thick strips of peel from the orange. Press about half of the cloves into the peeled part of the orange. (You can also just quarter the orange and add the slices and cloves separately. I just like seeing the orange bob up and down.)

Place orange, orange peel strips, the remaining cloves, and the rest of the ingredients into the sauce pan with the cider. Keep covered and heat the mulled cider mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.

2 Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the hot mulled cider away from the orange, cloves, and other spices. If you want, you can add a touch of bourbon, brandy, or rum to spike it up a bit. Serve hot. Add a cinnamon stick to each cup if desired.

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Hot Mulled Cider

Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • Tara

    I’ve been wondering something for a long time… what is the difference between cardamom pods and the cardomom I see at stores? I have only seen and bought “cardamom” and it looks like litte grains, not pods. I’ve never seen anything that looks like pods labeled “cardamom”. What am I missing here?

    When I have recipes that call for ‘pods’ I will often be brave and just use about 10 ‘seeds’ for each ‘pod’ called for. Is this a bit error?


  • Anonymous

    Your question made me curious so I found this site:
    I’ve seen those at my local Halal Mart. Other places that deal in bulk herbs/spices might have them too.

  • Sara

    Tara — To get cardomom pods, just go to an Indian or Middle Eastern store. When you add them to anything, you need to crack open the pod so the liquid comes in contact with the seeds. Whole cardomom is much more flavorful than the ground stuff you buy in the grocery store.

  • Elise

    The cardamom pods will also last much longer than ground cardamom.

  • Helen

    I made this last night for a Party and it went down really well (literally!). I used the same recipe to make Hot Mulled Apple juice for the drivers as well. By the end of the evening everyone was standing in the kitchen so they could fill their glasses up as soon as they emptied. Delicous!

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