Holiday Apple Cider

10 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Holiday Apple Cider infused with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and cranberry orange flavor is sweet, fruity, and incredibly EASY to make!

After a holiday meal, we like to sit back and enjoy the evening with a warm drink like our Hot Toddy recipe, or a cold glass of Eggnog.


Holiday Apple Cider is apple juice simmered with cinnamon and allspice, along with apples, cranberries, and orange slices for the most festive drink you’ll have all season.

This is one of my all-time favorite parts of the holiday season, because not only is it tasty, but it also makes your house smell AMAZING while it’s cooking. In fact, I even set this on the stove just to make the house smell more festive when I have company coming over.

This recipe is a lot like mulled cider, which is typically served hot. Hot cider is nice when it’s cold out, but if I’m serving this at a party I find that cold really brings out the flavor of the fruit and spices, so I serve it over ice.

You can garnish the glasses with orange slices, apple pieces, and cinnamon sticks when serving. I promise you’ll notice a huge difference from the store-bought pasteurized version.


This homemade apple cider recipe will last in the refrigerator for 6-7 days. If you want to serve it warm, you can heat it back up on the stove over medium heat until it starts to simmer, or put it in the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours. If you’re making this ahead to serve at a party, refrigerate, then garnish with freshly cut fruit, and stir before serving.


It’s insanely easy to make this apple cider recipe in the slow cooker. Just add the juice and all of the spices and fruit to the slow cooker, then set on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.


Add all of your ingredients to the instant pot and close the lid. Set for 15 minutes on high, then let it do a natural release. If you do a quick release, use a towel to turn the valve as some of the hot liquid may come out of the top. Strain as normal and serve hot, or allow it to cool and refrigerate.


You can make apple cider ahead of time and either refrigerate it for a few days, or freeze it for 2-3 months. Make sure you strain the cider and let it cool completely before putting it in the freezer. I also like making a few ice cube trays of the cider. As the cider cubes melt, they won’t water down your drink, and you can also use them to make infused water.



  • This recipe is non-alcoholic, but for a hard cider adult version add a splash of rum or bourbon, then top with homemade whipped cream.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the fruit when the cider is almost done, before straining. This helps get all of the flavor out of the ingredients.
  • If you want a sweeter cider recipe, add some sugar while the cider is still hot. White sugar will give you a lot of sweetness, but brown sugar will add a deeper molasses taste that works really well with cider. Or sweeten it without the calories by adding some stevia.
  • This cider recipe is naturally gluten free!
  • Add a dash of ginger to this recipe for slightly different taste, or drizzle the glasses decoratively with my homemade caramel sauce.
  • Put the whole cloves into the apple slices. When you strain the juice, the cloves will be attached to something big so they’ll be easier to remove.

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Holiday Apple Cider

Holiday Apple Cider infused with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and cranberry orange flavor is sweet, fruity, and incredibly EASY to make!
Yield 10 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Drink
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 10 cups apple juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 granny smith apple sliced
  • 1 fuji apple sliced
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 1 cup cranberries


  • Bring the ingredients to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Strain apple mixture though a fine mesh sieve. Discard solids. Drain cider again though a cheesecloth lined sieve. Refrigerate until cold.
  • Garnish with additional fruit if desired.


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 12.2mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.4mg

How to make apple cider

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This was great! It’s so convenient that the slow cooker and instant pot adjustments are also included. Thanks so much!

  2. We made this on Christmas for our family and it was absolutely delicious! Will make this a family tradition and use this recipe. Thank you!