The holidays are upon us and one of my absolute favorite things in the world during this time of year (other than snickerdoodles), is hot apple cider!  Hot cocoa is cool and everything, but nothing warms my heart more than sitting by the fire, nice and cozy, and drinking some homemade cider.

hot apple cider

This recipe comes straight from my mama’s house, and we all know moms have some of the best holiday recipes.  Apple cider is usually only available for a few short months, so I make it non-stop until I can’t buy it any more.  Apple cider differs from apple juice because it doesn’t filter out all the pulp and sediment, basically all the good stuff.  Apple cider will have a cloudy look to it because of that.  Some say that cider has more antioxidants in it because it isn’t filtering out everything. It also has WAY more flavor than the plain boring juice.

hot apple cider

My favorite part about apple cider though, is the way it makes your house smell. I want to invite everyone over just so they can smell how delicious my house is! You can either do this in a slow cooker or over your stove top on low. Hashtag low and slow.

I may be a bit bias, but I’m pretty certain that everyone will want to be your best friend after you share this with them!  Lets get to the recipe so you too can have a wonderful smelling house and delicious tasting cider in your mouth!


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Yield: 10-12


  • 2 64 oz jugs of apple cider (my favorite is North Coast)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 oranges
  • 20-30 whole cloves
  • OPTIONAL: bourbon whiskey


  1. Pour the cider into a slow cooker or large pot.
  2. Take your oranges and push the whole cloves straight into the orange. You will have about 15 cloves punched in. Add oranges to your cider.
  3. Lastly place the cinnamon sticks into the cider.
  4. Cover and let cook simmer all day long.
  5. If using bourbon put 1 oz into cup then fill cup with apple cider.
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hot apple cider


As I mentioned in the recipe, my favorite brand of apple cider is North Coast Organics.  You can usually find it in the juice aisle, although a lot of grocery stores “showcase” cider on the ends of the rows, so look there too!

We like to make it on Christmas Eve for Santa to have alongside his cookie.  Rumor has it, dairy makes Santa’s tummy hurt 😉 It is the perfect drink to have Christmas morning.  Put it in the slow cooker on Christmas Eve and it will be ready for everyone in the morning!

hot apple cider

I’d love to know where you enjoy drinking hot apple cider! Do you take it with you when you get your tree? Do you just make it because it tastes spectacular? Does Santa also enjoy apple cider more than milk in your house?


Whole30: yes

Paleo: yes

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