This recipe for spicy cider hits all the cozy notes! Rum or bourbon complement cinnamon, cloves and star anise perfectly.

Apple cider with spikes

There’s nothing like a warm drink in hand when the weather is chilly. Here is a classic that we think will be needed for fall: Hot apple cider! The combination of sweet cinnamon and cloves with the subtle spicy finish of rum or bourbon has something that is absolutely soul-warming. The liqueur melts seamlessly with the hot apple cider and results in a gentle sip and a cozy finish. This recipe has just the right mix of spices and alcohol: and a side effect: it makes your kitchen smell like an autumn candle.

What’s in this Spiked Apple Cider Recipe?

Apple cider is a drink that has been around for thousands of years, dating back to the Romans in 55 BC. Goes back! This spiked apple cider recipe is simmered with mulled spices and then paired with bourbon or rum for a tasty finish. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • High quality apple cider, preferably from your farmers market or local orchard. Look for unfiltered cider that retains the best taste and color. If you are in a tight spot of time and want to make your life super easy, you can always buy a pre-flavored cider and add rum to it.
  • Whole spices: Cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Make sure you use the whole versions of these spices, not ground, which is the key to getting the best taste. Star anise is the most unique of these spices in American cuisine: it should be available at most grocery stores, or you can buy star anise online.

Cider spices

How to make flavored cider: basic method

Making this spicy cider recipe is incredibly easy: all it takes is time! Here are the basic steps:

  • Toast the spices: Roast the spices on the stove for a few minutes. This will release their scent (and make your kitchen smell amazing).
  • Cook: Add the apple cider and heat until it is warmed through for about 30 minutes. You can also use a slow cooker or instant pot: see below.
  • Filter: You will find that particles rise to the top of the cider as it cooks. Use a fine mesh colander or colander to strain it (or you can pour it through a colander into another saucepan).
  • Spike it: Add the rum or bourbon all at once, or add about 2 ounces to each 1 cup serving. Topping up each drink separately means you can serve non-alcoholic hot cider and cider at the same time!


Serving cider with spikes for a party

Here are a few tips if you want to serve this warming drink at a party!

  • Double or triple: You’ll need to use a larger pot to accommodate it.
  • Consider Crockpot or Instant Pot: Using a slow cooker to keep the cider warm is great for parties. Visit our slow cooker cider.
  • Spice up drinks individually: When serving a crowd, it’s nice to have the flexibility to season the cider for each person individually. Then the drink will work for both children and adults.

Use bourbon or rum

What’s the Best Alcohol for an Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe? Rum or bourbon are the best choices. Any type of rum will work: white rum, aged rum, or dark rum (aged or dark rum adds more flavor complexity with notes of vanilla and oak). Any type of bourbon will work too! The rum merges more seamlessly with the taste of cider, making it our top choice. Bourbon is a close second and has a slightly more distinctive taste in the finish.

Hot apple cider recipe

Even more cozy drinks

Aside from this spiked apple cider recipe, there are so many winter drinks and hot cocktails to try! Try these leisurely options:

This spicy apple cider recipe is …

Vegetarian, gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free and vegan.

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This recipe for spicy cider hits all the cozy notes! Rum or bourbon complement cinnamon, cloves and star anise perfectly.

  • ½ teaspoon Cloves
  • 3 Star anise
  • 4th cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cups Cider
  • 1 cup Rum (of any kind) or bourbon
  • For the garnish: star anise, cinnamon stick, orange slice
  1. Toast the spices: Put the spices in the bottom of a saucepan *. Roast over a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  2. Cook: Turn the heat on low. Pour in the apple cider and bring it to a simmer, just bubbly. Set a timer for 30 minutes and reduce the heat to low heat (do not simmer).
  3. Filter: Use a fine-mesh strainer or colander to remove any particles that rise to the top of the pot (or you can pour it through a sieve into another pot).
  4. Surcharge: Pour in the rum or bourbon (or add 2 ounces to each 1 cup serving). Fill into 8 cups. Garnish with star anise, cinnamon stick or a slice of orange, if you like.


* Or go to Crockpot Apple Cider for slow cooker or Instant Pot instructions. Prepare the cider, then add the rum or bourbon before serving.

  • Category: beverages
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Kitchen: American

Keywords: Spiked Apple Cider, Spiked Apple Cider Recipe, Spiked Apple Cider, Spiked Hot Apple Cider


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