Mulled Cider

Dec 15 / Phyllis D. Light, MA
Nothing says the Holidays like mulled cider. And it goes great with the Scottish Shortbread (Gluten-Free Option) too. Mulled apple cider has its roots in the British Isles where it has been drunk during holidays and festive occasions for centuries. The hot, spicy beverage was also used to keep warm in the cold winters of Britain. On the continent, wine was more likely added to the recipe.

Mulled cider or wine definitely warms the body during the cold weather. Mulled cider is believed to come from the pagan tradition of Wassailing, which is also the forerunner to caroling. The fascinating history of Wassailing is deserving of a much longer treatment so I’ll get right to the recipe. Keep in mind that ingredients are flexible and tweak to taste.

It's super easy to make this mulled cider either in the crockpot or on the stovetop. I generally use the crockpot as it’s an easy way to also keep it warm.

Though I’ve included the brown sugar, I personally find that the apple cider is sweet enough for me and so don’t generally add it. If you want to avoid straining, put your spices in a tea bag or sachet. If cooking on the stovetop, don’t boil, just simmer.


Phyllis & Matthew talk about recipes, herbs, and spices and the traditions that go along with them in the FREE Traditional Holiday Herbs, Spices, and Plants. You can sign up and watch it on the site or watch it on YouTube (subscribe & turn on notifications).

Mulled Cider

  • 1-gallon fresh apple cider
  • 1 piece fresh ginger
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 medium orange or 2 clementines sliced


  1. Pour the cider into the slow cooker.
  2. Add the fruit slices.
  3. Add the spices or the spice bag.
  4. Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours and then turn to warm.
  5. Rum can be added upon serving.

 It will keep in the refrigerator for several days.

This recipe also works great with red grape juice, too. That was my Daddy’s favorite.
The information provided in this digital content is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. Matthew Wood, the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism, ETS Productions, and their employees, guests, and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.