These spiced apple cider cocktails start with warm spices and fruit, which can be served on its own or made into an adult beverage with champagne, bourbon or vodka.
It is cider season and I am thrilled because it means it’s time for my beloved spiced apple cider cocktails! I fell in love with this combination a few years ago when we had a party at our home with more than 100 folks. As it was winter, we decided to make a few big batches of apple cider to keep around.
To be kid-friendly, we kept the cider unspiked and decided to leave out bottles of bourbon and oak vodka if folks wanted to imbibe. That night, we went through EIGHT GALLONS of cider, running out long before the party was over. The cider was so simple, and so delicious, I knew it was going to be in regular rotation for us.
Ingredients for Spiced Apple Cider Cocktails
- Apple cider: Each batch calls for one quart, and I love finding local ciders if I can.
- Fresh ginger: We will peel and slice this for the fresh pop of spice. Because of that, packaged slices of ginger or ginger paste won’t work as well.
- Spices: This calls for cinnamon sticks, five whole cloves, and ground nutmeg. Keeping with that fresh flavor, I prefer buying them whole and grating myself.
- Citrus: We need the peels from an orange and lemon, as well as the juice from the lemon. Adding the juice of the orange may make things too sweet, so I like to slice them and keep them for folks to drop into their mug.
- Brown Sugar: If you don’t have any, there are a few alternatives including honey, which you can add to taste!
- Alcohol: Here I feature Absolut Oak, but any vodka or bourbon goes well with this. If you want to serve the cider cold, champagne or prosecco give it the perfect amount of bubbles!
How to Make Spiced Apple Cider Cocktails // The Steps
- Firstly, pour apple cider into large pot on the stove over low heat.
- Then, break cinnamon sticks in half and add to pot.
- After that, add ginger, clove, nutmeg, citrus, and brown sugar.
- Bring to boil, and then reduce to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes
- Ladle into mugs and add 2 oz. of liquor and mix. Alternatively, you can cool the cider and then add champagne or prosecco for a refreshing version of the spiced apple cider cocktail
What makes these Spiced Apple Cider Cocktails so good?
This recipe is so simple and requires very little prep time, which makes it perfect for hosting. Anything that allows me to pour everything in a single pot and walk away is a win for me! There are a few other things I love about it as well:
- During the holidays it is always great to have one drink that pleases drinkers and non-drinkers alike.
- Easy to make in large batches and keep warm in a an air pot, or on the stove. I use two of these air pots out for parties, one for non-drinkers and another with the alcohol set next to it.
- Alternatively, you can make this in your slow cooker by adding everything in the pot and cooking on low for four hours.
- I seriously love that these spiced apple cider cocktails can be served chilled as well. With champagne, this becomes an amplified sparkling cider you will absolutely love.
Serving and Storing
Like I mentioned, you can serve this hot or cold, and I prefer Air Pots to keep things warm. However, you may want a batch for yourself, or to make some ahead of time.
When stored in an air tight container, this will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a few days. Note: You will want to shake up the container before pouring, to make sure all the delicious spices get blended again.
More Cocktail Recipes //
Originally published in November 2015, updated November 2020 with updated images and updated recipe card.
** I was gifted a bottle of Absolut Oak from Absolut Vodka, I was not compensated for this post, all opinions are 100% my own. **