Make Ahead

Delicately Fragrant Mulled Cider (in the Crockpot)

December  8, 2010
2 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Cook time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Serves a crowd
Author Notes

I find most mulled things to be tongue-numbingly over-spiced, so this is pretty subtle (hey! you can tell there's apple under there somewhere!), but don't be too hasty to pile on extra spice, because the flavors do get stronger the longer it mulls. The recipe is a combination of ideas I found on the internet, inspiration from ingredients I happened to have on hand (the pear: a real winner), and memories of studding oranges with cloves as a child. A slow cooker makes for an easy, low-maintenance time, but you can also simmer this in a pot on the stove if you must. —ody

Test Kitchen Notes

This is the cider you want mulling in a corner of the kitchen all day long during colder months -- ideally in a slow-cooker (so you can ignore it), but warming on a back burner works too. You can dip in for a mug whenever a new visitor comes in from the chill, and the sweet perfume will beckon them to the kitchen. Ody's spicing is spare, so be sure to choose a great apple cider to start. Unlike more aggressively spiced ciders, you'll really be tasting apple, just tinged with pear, citrus, ginger and spice. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 pear, not too soft; bosc highly recommended
  • 1 orange
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 to 5 whole allspice berries
  • 3 to 5 inches peeled fresh ginger root, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium stick of cinnamon (or a half of a large stick of cinnamon---they're easy to snap, especially if you have some holiday stress to get out!)
  • 2 to 3 gallons apple cider
  1. You know your slow cooker best: Get this started in time to allow at least 30 minutes of simmering.
  2. Stud the pear and orange with cloves.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, peel large pieces of rind from the lemon, trying to avoid the white pith. Give each piece a little twist to release some of the lemon oil.
  4. Put fruits and spices in your slow cooker, pour a gallon of cider over it all, and put it on high heat for a few hours, allowing for at least half an hour at a full simmer. As you drink the cider, top it off every now and then with new cider—the mixture can keep mulling and spicing all day.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Victoria Maynard
    Victoria Maynard
  • EmilyC
  • WCmom
  • hardlikearmour
  • gingerroot

14 Reviews

Paula M. October 21, 2020
I have been making some form of this in the crockpot for years for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but never thought of using pear. It stays on all day and I just keep adding more cider to replenish the supply as we drink it. We also add a splash of Tuaca liquor, some whipped cream and a cinnamon stick to the mugs!
Victoria M. October 28, 2016
This was delicious! The 2-3 gallons of cider made a giant batch for a party. If I wanted to enjoy this at home, I might only add 1 gallon of cider, but keep the spices/fruit the same amount.
Barrecudette December 20, 2015
Thanks for the recipe! I'm making this for tonight and I'm not clear what happens with the lemon; how much of the rind do you use, and when you say to put the fruit in, are you including the lemon? Thanks again.
Chasmosaur January 17, 2015
We're having people over for hot winter drinks and dessert next week. Since we're attempting to duplicate the hot toddy at one of our favorite restaurants - one that is heavy on lemon and cinnamon to begin with - I made a batch of this today to test it out as the base.

What a LOVELY recipe. It tastes so wonderful with all the other components of the drink, and my house smells fantastic. Thanks for sharing!
shecooks October 17, 2012
I guess I must be a minimalist -- I just toss a couple of cinnamon sticks in a tea kettle of cider, put it on the back burner for awhile, & when it smells good, turn the heat off. After the cider cools, I pour it back into the jug, put the jug in the fridge, & my husband nukes himself a mug whenever the want arises.
EmilyC November 14, 2011
Just a quick note to let you know that I made a batch of this cider yesterday and let it simmer away in my crock pot. This is one of the best mulled ciders I've had because of the delicate spicing and the flavors from the pear, orange, and lemon. I'll be making this throughout the holidays!
ody November 27, 2011
Thanks so much for letting me know---your comment made my day!
ody October 6, 2011
Thanks everyone! What a wonderful surprise to get the wildcard....WCmom, yes, you could spike this with anything you like, or even use the recipe to mull wine instead of cider.
WCmom October 6, 2011
Sounds great! Would spiking this with a little bourbon work?
boulangere October 6, 2011
Love you and your bourbon ideas!
hardlikearmour October 5, 2011
Congrats! This sounds like a stellar version of mulled cider.
gingerroot October 5, 2011
Congratulations! My family is headed to the East Coast for Christmas so this will definitely be made and enjoyed.
aargersi October 5, 2011
Congratulations! Love the idea of a low all day simmer for dipping ...
EmilyC October 5, 2011
Congrats on your wildcard win! I'm saving your recipe to make when I have a house full of guests.