Homemade hot apple cider is the ultimate cold-weather beverage made with apples, oranges, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and maple syrup. This easy-to-make spiced cider recipe is a warm, comforting drink that the whole family can enjoy!
Apple cider is one of my favorite fall beverages and I love to make my own at home versus buying the processed stuff. Making hot apple cider at home is surprisingly easy and I whip up a batch as soon as I feel that first cool breeze of the season.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- The perfect cozy beverage for a brisk day! Hot apple cider is the ultimate cool weather beverage with its sweet, spicy flavors and warm, cozy aroma.
- Easy to make! Homemade apple cider does not require a lot of hands-on time. Just slice, simmer, then strain!
- Excellent beverage for a crowd! Make a batch of this homemade hot apple cider for your next holiday party or dinner and keep it warm in a crockpot or Dutch oven on the stovetop for guests to ladle into mugs.
Important Ingredient Notes
A complete list of ingredients with measurements along with detailed recipe instructions can be found in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.
- Apples. I love to use a combination of sweet and tart apples such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Gala but feel free to use any variety of apples you prefer.
- Sweeteners. This apple cider is slightly sweetened with a little maple syrup and brown sugar but feel free to omit these ingredients if you prefer. The apples are plenty sweet on their own.
- Spices. Cinnamon sticks and whole cloves are used to add warm, spicy flavors to this hot apple cider. Feel free to substitute or add some of your favorite whole spices to this cider.
- Vanilla extract. A small amount of vanilla extract is added at the end to give this homemade apple cider extra depth and flavor. Be sure to use pure vanilla extract and not vanilla flavoring. You may also omit this ingredient if you prefer.
How To Make Homemade Hot Apple Cider
- Slice your fruit. Quarter 10 apples and 2 oranges and place them in a large stock pot or Dutch oven.
- Cook the cider. Add the water, sugar, maple syrup, and spices, and bring the cider to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the cider for at least 2 hours.
- Strain the cider. After about 2 hours, mash the apples with a wooden spoon and simmer the cider for another 30 minutes. Strain the apple cider through a fine mesh sieve.
- Ladle into mugs and enjoy! Enjoy apple cider warm or chilled. I love to keep hot apple cider warm in a crockpot for guests to ladle into mugs. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks!
Apple cider is a fresh, unfiltered beverage made from fresh apples. Apple cider has a cloudy appearance because it contains pulp and sediment that has not been filtered out. Apple juice is filtered and pasteurized to give it a longer shelf life and has a clear appearance with a sweeter taste.
My favorite apples for homemade apple cider is a combination of sweet and tart apples like Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Gala, and Honeycrisp. However, any variety of apples may be used according to how sweet or tart you prefer your apple cider. Just be sure to use apples that are ripe and fresh.
Homemade apple cider can last for up to 10 days when properly stored in the refrigerator. After that, the apples will begin to ferment and the cider will develop a more acidic taste.
Try adding allspice berries, whole nutmeg, star anise, cardamom pods, or fresh ginger to homemade hot apple cider for added flavor.
To store homemade hot apple cider, allow it to cool to room temperature then transfer it to an airtight pitcher or container. Store leftover apple cider in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
You can also freeze leftover hot apple cider in a plastic or glass jug, ice tray, or freezer bag. Apple cider will last in the freezer for up to 12 months.
More Cozy Fall Recipes You Will Love!
- One Pan Apple Cider Chicken
- Southern Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
- Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
- Southern Chicken and Dressing
- Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
- Southern Candied Yams
- Easy Brown Sugar Glaze (For Ham, Chicken, And More!)
- Southern Pecan Pralines
- Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Pie
- The Best Bread Pudding
- Southern Sweet Potato Pie
- Southern Pecan Pie
- Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- Apple Crumble Cheesecake
- Chocolate Chess Pie
- Chocolate Gravy Recipe
Homemade Hot Apple Cider Recipe
- Wash the apples and oranges and slice them into quarters. Place the fruit in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large stockpot.
- Add the water, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to the pot and give everything a good stir with a wooden spoon. Bring the cider to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Once the apple cider reaches a boil, lower the heat to low and simmer the cider, covered, for at least 2 hours. After about 2 hours, smash the apples with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon and continue to simmer the cider for another 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Carefully strain the cider through a fine mesh sieve. Ladle warm apple cider into mugs and garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks.
- Feel free to use any variety of apples you prefer for this homemade apple cider.
- Omit the maple syrup and brown sugar if you are avoiding added sugar. The apples are plenty sweet on their own.
- Leftover apple cider can be cooled to room temperature, transferred to an airtight container, and stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.