Hot Mulled Cider: A Perfect Holiday Beverage

side view of two glass mugs of hot mulled cider

It’s the season for Hot Mulled Cider! An absolutely incredibly delicious fall or holiday beverage. Easy to make… and a perfect way to warm up on chilly nights.

I have a special love for hot cider. My husband and I were married in November. It was a chilly, blustery day with late autumn color. It was spectacular. When our guests reached the reception, hot mulled cider was waiting for them. 

Come November, you can imagine I’m making this cider often!

Copper pan of hot cider ingredients

6 Simple Ingredients for Hot Mulled Cider

These ingredients are staples many of us have stocked in the pantry. If not, it’s a worthwhile add!

Here’s what you need to make the cider:

Apples or Apple Juice: If you have a juicer, it’s easy to make your own, which adds a delicious texture and flavor. If not — store-bought is just fine!

Citrus: orange and lemon peels

Spices: cinnamon sticks, ground or whole cloves, and maple syrup.

overhead view of cider ingredients

Is Hot Mulled Cider Like Wassail?

Essentially… yes.

The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Old Norse ves heill which literally means… good health or to be in good health.

The ancient tradition of wassailing was the Middle Ages practice of visiting door-to-door, singing, and being offered a drink the from wassail bowl in exchange for gifts. Although still practiced in Northern England and Scotland, the tradition has largely been replaced by caroling.

Wassailing is most often celebrated on New Years or Twelfth Night (January 5 or 6), and was a charitable exchange of sorts between feudal lords and their peasants.

“Wassail” appears in English literature as a salute as early as the eighth-century poem “Beowulf.” 

And, of course, in the lyrics to a loved English carol, composed in 1850:

Here we come a-Wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a wandering,
So fairly to be seen.
Here we come a wandering
So fairly to be seen.
Love and joy come to you
And to you a Wassail too
God bless you and send you,
A Happy New Year
God send you a Happy New Year.

Hot Mulled Cider in Glass Mug

Wishing You A Happy and Healthy Season

Whether you wait until New Years, or Twelfth Night… or are like me and begin mulling cider when the apples ripen on the trees, I wish you ves heill. All season long. Curl up by the fire with this delicious, soul-warming cider.

side view of two glass mugs of hot mulled cider

Hot Mulled Cider: A Perfect Holiday Beverage

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

Hot Mulled Cider is a delicious autumnal or holiday drink, incredibly quick and easy to prepare, and a perfect way to warm up chilly nights.


  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise (optional)
  • 1/2 orange, sliced
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, heat over medium heat until the cider comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Strain the spices and serve warm in mugs.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 136Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 28gProtein: 1g

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Pinterest Pin with Glass Mug of Hot Mulled Cider
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