Hot Mulled Cider {Bourbon Optional}

It’s getting chilly out there! Warm up with some hot mulled cider – a fall favorite. If you have friends coming over, put a big pot of this on the stove, and your whole home will smell warm and welcoming. Or if you’ve got a tailgate to attend, fill up a big thermos and add some bourbon to keep yourself warm. This pairs perfectly with these spiced pumpkin poppers, or stands alone as a an easy fall cocktail everyone will love.

Serves 4-6

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 2-3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, to taste (can substitute maple syrup or honey if desired)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger, or a 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, diced
  • 1 orange (unpeeled), quartered
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, or ½ vanilla bean, split
  • Brandy or bourbon (optional)


  1. Combine cider, sugar, ginger, orange, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla in a large pot with a lid.
  2. Bring everything to a boil, and then lower to a simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. When you’re ready to serve, add a shot of brandy or bourbon to each mug, then fill to the brim with the hot cider (avoiding the oranges and spices).
  4. Stir to combine, and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy hot or cold.

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