The Ultimate Mulled Cider Recipe

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Hot spiced cider is the perfect drink on chilly days, whether at home by the fireplace or at a party with your friends. A drink with a long history and many variants, read on for a modern take on the mulled cider recipe.

Hot spiced cider anyone?
Photographer: Heidi Kaden | Source: Unsplash

The History of Mulled Cider

Hot spiced alcoholic drinks have a long history, dating back to Roman times as a way to keep warm in winter.

Spiced apple drinks have remained consistently popular, although with significant variations. One Victorian recipe recommends the addition of beaten eggs to the cider and says the mixture can be ‘poured over toast’! In modern-day America, ‘spiced cider’ often refers to non-alcoholic drinks made from apple juice, and is a popular drink at many fall events.

Photographer: Sarah Gualtieri | Source: Unsplash

Mulled Cider Recipe

A traditional West Country strong flat cider is the best choice for mulling.

This simple recipe uses sloe gin, but you could use another spirit. Dark rum is another common addition. The sweetness of the sloe gin means that extra sugar or honey may not be necessary.

Although heating will lead to some of the alcohol being lost, the addition of sloe gin can make the drink very strong. If you would like to reduce the potency, you can add some plain apple juice during cooking.


1 litre cider
200ml sloe gin

2 apples, sliced
Half a dozen cloves
Four cinnamon sticks

Small piece of nutmeg
Sugar or honey (optional)
Apple juice (optional)


1. Put the cider and apples (and apple juice if using) into a saucepan with the spices and heat gently for 5-10 minutes.

2. As soon as it starts to simmer turn off the heat and add the sloe gin.

3. Taste and add honey or sugar if needed.

4. Serve straight away.

Instead of the cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, you could opt for a ready-made spice blend.