apple cider featured image
Homemade Apple Cider is easy to make and offers a deliciously sweet, crisp taste that pairs perfectly with cool air and cold weather. This recipe creates a hot and healthy holiday drink and is the most wonderful way to stay warm!
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Table of Contents
  1. Healthy Homemade Apple Cider
  2. Why We Love This Homemade Apple Cider Recipe
  3. Ingredients / Shopping List
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
  6. How to Make the Recipe
  7. Tips
  8. Storage Tips
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Other Easy Fall Recipes
  11. Apple Cider Recipe

This delicious homemade Apple Cider is a quintessential Fall beverage that is super-easy to make and offers a sweet crisp taste that pairs perfectly with cool air and cold weather. Simply simmering and filtering apples, oranges, cinnamon, warming spices, sweetener and water, this recipe creates a hot and healthy holiday drink and is the most wonderful way to stay warm!

apple cider hero image

Healthy Homemade Apple Cider

There’s something magical about making homemade Apple Cider, where fresh apples and oranges are combined with whole spices, and then simmered on the stove to create a comforting, soothing, and velvety drink.

This cider is smooth once you strain the fruit and the citrus undertone adds a delicious depth that tastes subtly complex even though this beverage is so simple to make. I love that this homemade Apple Cider is all-natural, customizable, and so much healthier that anything store-bought.

Choose your favorite apples and sweeten and spice to suit your taste; when you make your own cider from scratch, you’ll savor the scent of sweet fall spices and dream of the delicious ways to serve it throughout the season.

Of course you can drink apple cider any time of year–it is refreshing over ice in the spring and summer and warming when cold hands hold a steamy hot mug throughout fall and winter.

This traditional holiday beverage serves a purpose way beyond pure comfort–it is healthy and good for you because apples contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help improve health.

Cheers to happy, healthy holiday cider sipping!

Why We Love This Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

  • Easy to make with apples, oranges, warming spices, water, and your choice of sweetener.
  • Flavors and aromas of sweet cinnamon and warming spices will make your house smell amazing!
  • Cozy and comforting healthy drink.
  • Apples and its components may reduce the risk of chronic disease and contain vitamins and minerals that boost immunity and keep you healthy.
  • Perfect for sipping on rainy and cold days, fall harvest parties, or simply on a chilly night at home watching movies with your family or reading a good book.
  • Gluten-free, vegan, alcohol-free drink that everyone at a gathering can easily enjoy (unless, you spike it!).
apple cider looking from above

Ingredients / Shopping List

  • Apples: Use a variety of sweet and tart apples, cored and quartered. I love making cider with a rainbow of apples. But feel free to use whichever varieties (or mix of varieties) that you prefer. I recommend a mix of tart (i.e. Granny Smith, Braeburn, Jonathan, and Pacific Rose) and sweet (i.e. Gala or Jazz, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, and Cortland) apples.
  • Oranges, quartered 
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole star anise
  • Whole cloves
  • Whole allspice
  • Water
  • Light brown sugar, packed
  • Granulated sugar
apple cider in a glass

Substitutions and Additions

  • Sweetener: Just about any kind of sweetener will work here. Feel free to use maple syrup, coconut sugar, molasses, agave syrup, cane sugar, stevia, or anything you prefer.
  • Superfood Warming Spices: Did you know spices are considered superfoods because they contain health properties? Why not add some nutmeg, fresh ginger, or cardamom for an extra dose of extra superfood?
  • More Fruit Flavor: You can add cored and quartered pears and pitted and quartered peaches for an added flavor twist. You can also substitute or add quartered whole mandarin oranges.
  • Spike It: Feel free to make adult cocktails by adding some alcohol to this recipe (try a little caramel vodka)! I think it would make a fantastic appletini or apple cider martini. Fall flavored sangria would also be great with the addition of this cider.
  • Extra-large stockpot (I used a 12-quart stockpot)
  • Silicone baking mat
  • Non-slip cutting board
  • Cookie scoop

SEE FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD BELOW

How to Make the Recipe

This delicious homemade Apple Cider is super-easy to make and offers a sweet crisp taste that pairs perfectly with cool air and cold weather. Simply simmering and filtering will get you on your way to the most wonderful drink to help you stay warm!

  1. Add all apples and oranges to an extra-large stockpot.
    PRO TIP: If you don’t have an extra-large stockpot, you can split the ingredients equally across two smaller stock pots or Dutch oven-sized pots. You don’t want your cider spilling over when it is boiling and simmering.
    add all fruits into the pot
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
    add all ingredients into the pot
  3. Stir, and bring to a low boil.
    stir and add to a low boil
  4. Let mixture simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Mash the apples and oranges with a potato masher and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  6. Remove stockpot from heat and strain the cider through a fine-mesh.
    mash the fruit in the pot
  7. Once filtered, return the cider to the stovetop to keep warm.
    return to stove to keep warm
  8. Serve in mugs with some cinnamon sticks (optional garnish) and enjoy!
    transfer to a glass

Tips

  • Always remember to thoroughly wash and rinse the apples and oranges before coring and quartering.
  • You can substitute ground spices for the whole spices, but it will produce a very dark-colored cider. The whole spice really adds the perfect balance of flavor.

Storage Tips

  • To Store: Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • To Reheat: You can reheat the cider on the stovetop or in the microwave.
homemade apple cider

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between apple cider and apple juice?

Apple cider is juiced apples. It still has some pulp, as well as more vitamins and minerals than apple juice. It may or may not be pasteurized, which is the process of heating the liquid to a certain temperature to kill bacteria. Apple juice, on the other hand, is filtered juice that’s been heated to 190 F during processing. Generally, apple juice is lighter, clearer, and sweeter than cider.

Is apple cider a hot or a cold drink?

This popular fall drink can be served hot or cold, making it a versatile treat to be enjoyed all year-round.

Is apple cider healthier than apple juice?

Because apple cider contains more of apples’ polyphenol compounds than clear commercial apple juice, it has more health properties than apple juice. Theses compounds act as antioxidants and reduce inflammation. They can help the body to fight against free radicals and cell damage, lowering your risk of certain types of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

apple cider in a glass

Other Easy Fall Recipes

5 from 2 votes
apple cider featured image

Apple Cider

Serves — 12
Homemade Apple Cider is easy to make and offers a deliciously sweet, crisp taste that pairs perfectly with cool air and cold weather. This recipe creates a hot and healthy holiday drink and is the most wonderful way to stay warm!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 12 medium-size apples (2 – 3 different varieties), cored and quartered
  • 2 whole oranges quartered
  • 5-6 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp whole allspice
  • 1 gallon water
  • ½ cup light brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • Using an extra-large stockpot (I used a 12-quart stockpot), over high heat, add in the cored and quartered apples, oranges, cinnamon sticks, star anise, whole cloves, whole allspice, sugars, and water. Stir to mix.
  • Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce the temperature to medium-low, and let it simmer for 1½ hours. Stir the mixture occasionally.
  • After the apples and orange mixture has been cooking for 1½ hours, using a potato masher, carefully mash the apples and oranges to help release more of their juices. Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove the stockpot from the heat. Carefully ladle the cider through a fine-mesh sieve to remove large pieces of apple skin, orange rind, and whole spices.
  • Once the cider has been filtered, you can return the cider to the stovetop to keep warm before you are ready to serve.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • To Reheat: You can reheat the cider on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Tips:
  • Always remember to thoroughly wash and rinse the apples and oranges before coring and quartering.
  • You can substitute ground spices for the whole spices, but it will produce a very dark-colored cider. The whole spice really adds the perfect balance of flavor.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 156IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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