Make Ahead

Hot Spiced Drunken AppleĀ Cider

November 24, 2009
9 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Not just tasty but also elegant and beautiful, and should nicely decorate a holiday table. The white wine keeps the nice color of the cider and the cranberries make it festive and give it a pinkish hue. —Cordelia

Test Kitchen Notes

A more refined version of mulled cider, this punch also calls for an off-dry white wine and fresh cranberries. The cider is quickly steeped in spices -- cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg -- before you add the wine and cranberries, which give the punch a light rosy hue. Cordelia's concoction goes down easy, so sip slowly if you can restrain yourself! - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 gallon apple cider (I have used unfiltered)
  • 3/4 bottle of gewurztraminer (or other white wine which is not too dry, or you can use even semi sweet one like Muscat)
  • 4 to 5 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 to 5 cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons to 4 tablespoons honey (depends on how sweet the wine you're using)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (or cubes of apple if not in cranberry season)
  1. Put the cider and all spices in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. When on low heat add the wine. Do not boil again so the alcohol won't evaporate too much, just let it warm.
  4. Add the cranberries and simmer for a few more minutes until they color the liquid a bit.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • MeghanVK
  • eatingandediting
  • Maria Teresa Jorge
    Maria Teresa Jorge
  • TasteFood
  • Cordelia

13 Reviews

MeghanVK December 16, 2012
Made a double batch of this last night for our holiday party, and it turned out great. The guests loved it (although the wine flavor is so subtle that people assumed it was nonalcoholic and began spiking it with whiskey... whoops!).
Allie89104 February 19, 2012
any advice on where to get apple cider after the fall season? or make some?
eatingandediting January 4, 2012
I made a double batch of this for a New Year's Eve party -- and it was all gone before midnight. It was a warm-ish night, but still cold enough to enjoy a cup of this outside sans jacket. A perfect party drink!
dancerslikefood November 22, 2011
This was truly delicious! I made it for a gathering of friends for a pre-Thanksgiving celebration and it was a hit. I am amazed how much flavor the cider picked up in such a short amount of time and the wine is a lovely and unexpected addition (I used gewurztraminer). It complemented the cheese and nut appetizer course perfectly. Thanks for a great recipe! I cannot wait for a reason to make it again!
Maria T. December 25, 2009
Hi Cordelia, just wanted to say congratulations for your winning recipe and all the other fabulous resipes you post.
Happy Holidays,
Maria Teresa
TasteFood December 23, 2009
Congratulations on your win! I love the idea of using white wine in a warm drink. I'll certainly try this recipe when we are skiing next week!
megeretta December 22, 2009
Any ideas on making this non alcoholic with the option of adding wine to individual drinks??? Thanks!
Cordelia December 22, 2009
Well, I have a chilled version with similar ingredients (some more spices) but with bubbly wine that added on top, posted on my page ( This way you can add the bubbly wine for those who can drink and for the rest top it with bubbly none alcoholic cider.
Otherwise, I guess you can make the recipe without the wine and warm the wine separately and just add it to some of the glasses, anyway it is not supposed to be cooked for too long. Let me know how it worked for you.
laura_robichaux January 25, 2011
here's a recipe for orange wassail - it's great in the colder months and alcohol is optional.
Cordelia December 21, 2009
Thanks so much for the kind word and thanks for making me a finalist, this is so exciting.
anatshi December 21, 2009
looks amazing!
foodfun December 20, 2009
Looks great! I am going to try it!
Janneke V. December 20, 2009
It looks beautiful, never had warm white wine but I'll definitely try it.