Make a delicious Slow Cooker Apple Cider this fall and winter to keep you warm and cozy all season long! Simply add your ingredients to the crockpot and let them cook away!
This easy Slow Cooker Apple Cider recipe encompasses all the flavors of autumn- cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and of course, sweet and tangy fresh apples. Cooked low and slow in the crockpot, these flavors combine to create the perfect cozy flavor to enjoy during the cool fall and winter months. You can also choose to make this apple cider in your Instant Pot for a quicker version, but one that is just as flavorful.
This warm and aromatic apple cider is popular during the holiday season and will make a great addition to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner gatherings. A warm spiced apple cider slow cooking for hours in your kitchen not only tastes great, but it makes your house smell amazing.
However, it's just as wonderful to enjoy when you're relaxing with a sweet pumpkin muffin or a nutritious morning glory muffin (or any baked good for that matter!). You can even use this slow cooked apple cider to make homemade apple cider bread!
Does This Recipe Make Mulled Cider Or Apple Cider?
Apple cider is a non-alcoholic beverage made from freshly pressed apples. It typically undergoes minimal processing, with the apples being crushed or ground to extract the juice, which is then strained to remove any solids. Mulled cider is a warm spiced version of apple cider. It's made by heating apple cider and infusing it with a blend of spices, often including cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and sometimes citrus fruits like orange or lemon.
Technically, the addition of spices and citrus in this recipe along with the process of heating it to cook down the apples and infuse the spices, makes it a mulled cider.
- Large apples: the variety of apples you use depends on if you want a sweet cider or a tart cider. For sweet ciders, stick with Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious or Red Delicious apples. For a more tart cider, opt for Pink Lady, McIntosh, Jonathan, Braeburn or Granny Smith apples. Feel free to use a combination of apples or a combination of sweet and tart apples to make a sharp sweet-tart cider.
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- Allspice berries
- Whole nutmeg
- Star anise: optional
STEP 1: Wash the apples and oranges and cut into halves or quarters, leaving the skins on. Discard the apple cores.
STEP 2: Put the oranges and apples into the slow cooker. Pour in the water and add the whole cloves, allspice berries, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks. Cover and set the slow cooker to low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
STEP 3: When done, remove the lid and use a potato masher to press down on the apples and oranges to release more flavor into the liquid.
STEP 4: Place a fine mesh strainer over a large heat-safe bowl. You can also place a cheesecloth over the strainer to catch as many fruit solids and spice residue as possible. Carefully ladle out the contents of the slow cooker into the strainer. Allow the liquid to drain fully into the bowl, then discard the solids. Repeat until all solids are gone.
*If adding sweetener, add it to the hot cider after straining out the solids.
STEP 5: Transfer the hot cider into a heat-safe gallon jug. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice are used to make mulled cider. Star anise is an optional spice that some recipes use and some don't, as it can have a "licorice" type taste to it that some people don't enjoy.
Yes, you can use ground spices in this recipe. When using ground spices, keep in mind that they can be more potent than whole spices, so you may need to use slightly less to achieve the desired taste. And since the ground spices will absorb into the water, the final resulting apple cider will be more cloudy than usual (but this is totally fine!).
This recipe is very sweet without added sugar, but you can add brown sugar, honey or maple syrup if desired. Add in ¼ cup increments until your desired level of sweetness has been reached.
How To Store Homemade Mulled Cider
Store your homemade mulled cider in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave just until warmed through. Be careful not to bring the cider to a boil, as doing so could alter the flavor.
Slow Cooker Apple Cider
- Wash the apples and oranges and cut into halves or quarters, leaving the skins on. Discard the apple cores.
- Put the oranges and apples in the slow cooker. Add the whole spices (star anise, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries). Pour in water and cover.
- Set the slow cooker to low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. When done, remove the lid and use a potato masher to press down on the apples and oranges to release more flavor into the liquid.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a large heat-safe bowl. You can also place a cheesecloth over the strainer to catch as many fruit solids and spice residue as possible. Carefully ladle out the contents of the slow cooker into the strainer. Allow the liquid to drain fully into the bowl, then discard the solids. Repeat until all solids are discarded. *If adding sweetener, add it to the hot cider after straining out the solids.
- Transfer the hot cider into a glass or heat-safe gallon jug. Serve warm or at room temperature.