If you’re looking for the ultimate fall drink, then this slow cooker mulled apple cider is a must try! A blend of fresh fruit and aromatic spices — it is a treat for all of the senses!
Crockpot Mulled Apple Cider
Fall is officially here in Texas! Yesterday was chilly and rainy that my goat actually wanted to come back inside — and he let me know by pacing the fence until I “rescued” him. (Yes, we have pet goat!)
Nothing warms the bones on a cold, windy, rainy day like a mug of steaming apple cider. It’s refreshing and warming all at the same time! This hot cider is a gorgeous shade of orange and mulled with aromatic spices — basically fall in a glass!
Making cider in a slow cooker is not only an easy way to do the “mulling,” but it also keeps it warm as long as needed. Oh, and did I mention that it will make your entire house smell absolutely fabulous?!
What is the difference between apple cider and apple juice?
Apple cider on its own (without the addition of mulling spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg) is not much different from regular apple juice.
Depending on who makes the cider, it can mean that the juice was not filtered or pasteurized, the apples were picked at a different time in the season, or nothing at all! Sometimes the “cider” label is simply a marketing trick!
What is the difference between apple cider and mulled cider?
Again, not much — mulled cider means that you’ve added “mulling spices” to the mix. These include: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and star anise. You may sometimes see peppercorn or cardamom used as well.
Mulled cider is also usually cooked with additional fruit — either dried, fresh, or both! We stuck with fresh oranges and apples, but you could also use raisins or dried cranberries for a fun, colorful mix!
Can kids drink apple cider?
Our mulled cider is completely family friendly! Apple cider itself is non-alcoholic, though it never hurts to check labels to be sure.
So-called “hard cider” is another story, and definitely for grown-ups only.
What You Need to Make Mulled Apple Cider
For your convenience in re-creating our crock pot apple cider, I’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products we used. Disclosure policy available here.
- Apple cider — We used fresh, but you can use canned, jarred, etc.
- Fresh ginger — peeled and sliced
- Whole orange — sliced
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- Whole star anise
- Whole nutmeg
- Honey or brown sugar — These are optional, if you like a sweet cider. I thought it was sweet enough on its own from the fruit, so I recommend starting without them and adding later if needed.
Kitchen Tools Used
How to Make Apple Cider in a Crockpot
Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker and set temperature to LOW.
Give it a quick stir, then cover and cook for 3-4 hours.
When done, you can either strain out the spices or leave them. They’ll add more and more flavor over time.
Ladle into individual mugs and garnish fresh cinnamon sticks, apple slices, and orange slices.
Can you make it spiked apple cider?
Want to spice it up a bit more? Either rum or bourbon will complement the cider perfectly and give it a sweet kick.
If you’re going to make a grown-ups only batch, you can add it directly to the slow cooker. Since we have it on “low” setting, the alcohol won’t cook off.
Otherwise, simply add a splash to your glass!
Can mulled cider be reheated?
The great thing about a slow cooker is that it keeps the cider warm. You can serve it straight from the slow cooker throughout the day.
If there are leftovers, transfer them to a pitcher or a container that you’d use for storing soup or other liquids.
To reheat, pour into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. You can then pour into individual mugs — just be sure to make sure to let it cool enough to drink safely.
More of our favorite slow cooker recipes:
- Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake
- Easy Crockpot Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Rosemary Bread
- Slow Cooker Play Dough
Slow Cooker Mulled Apple Cider (Printable Recipe)
If you’ve tried this recipe, we’d love to hear what you think in the comments!
Easy Slow Cooker Apple Cider
- Slow cooker
- 8 cups apple cider
- 1 1/2 fresh ginger peeled and sliced
- 1 orange sliced
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
- 5 pieces Star Anise
- 2 nutmeg optional
- Add all ingreidents to slow cooker.
- Set to low for 3-4 hours.
- Strain out the spices.
- Garnish with cinnamon sticks, apple slices, and orange slices.
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