Apple Cider – Jo Cooks

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This homemade Apple Cider recipe turns ordinary apples into a heartwarming elixir that captures the essence of autumn. Made with a simple mixture of crisp apples, a juicy orange, and warm aromatic spices, it’s the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day.

two glasses with homemade apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick and a few apple slices.

Easy Apple Cider Recipe

Say goodbye to bland, store-bought apple cider and say hello to this delicious homemade concoction that will warm your heart and tantalize your taste buds. This recipe combines the sweetness of fresh apples, the zesty tang of oranges, and the comforting warmth of cinnamon, cloves, and allspice to create a cider that is sweet and perfectly spiced. Each steamy sip is a cozy embrace of fall’s best flavors.

two glasses with homemade apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick and a few apple slices.
ingredients needed to make apple cider.
  • Variety of Apples: Choose a mix of sweet and tart apples to achieve the perfect balance of flavors. Some good options include Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, and Pink Lady. 
  • Orange: Adds a touch of zesty acidity that enhances its overall flavor profile.
  • Spices: A mixture of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and allspice come together to infuse the cider with a warm and spicy flavor. 
  • Water: Forms the base of the cider. 
  • Granulated Sugar: Just a touch sweetens the cider. You can also use honey if you prefer.

This easy recipe shows you how to transform fresh apples into a delicious beverage that captures the spirit of the season. In just a few simple steps, you can produce homemade cider that is sure to impress your loved ones.

process shots showing how to make apple cider.

Begin by thoroughly washing the apples and the orange. This step ensures that your cider remains free from any unwanted impurities. Next, cut the apples into quarters. Then slice the orange, but do not remove the peel.

process shots showing how to make apple cider.

Once you’ve prepped the fruit, put it into a large pot with the cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and allspice. Then pour in the water to submerge all the ingredients in liquid. If necessary, you can add more water.

Now, bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Then turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 2 hours. 

process shots showing how to make apple cider.

After simmering for 2 hours, use a potato masher to gently mash the fruits. This step releases their flavors and infuses the cider with a richer taste. Then continue to simmer the mixture for one more hour.

process shots showing how to make apple cider.

Once the flavors have had time to meld, use a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to strain the liquid into a clean pot. The idea is to remove all the solid pieces. To finish, place the cider over medium heat. Then add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Now, taste and add more sugar if needed. 

When ready, pour your warm apple cider into mugs and garnish it with cinnamon sticks and orange slices for serving. You can also let it cool and store it in the fridge for about 5 days. 

two glasses with homemade apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick and a few apple slices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

Producers usually filter and pasteurize store-bought apple juice, producing a clear, sweet-tasting liquid. Apple cider, on the other hand, is typically unfiltered and unpasteurized, retaining more of the apple’s natural flavor, cloudiness, and sometimes a slightly tangy taste. 

What can I add to my cider?

Your homemade apple cider is highly customizable. Some popular additions include extra spices like nutmeg or cardamom, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup for added sweetness, or even a splash of your favorite spirit like rum or bourbon for an adult twist. You can also experiment with different garnishes like lemon zest or cranberries for an extra layer of flavor and visual appeal. 

two glasses with homemade apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick and a few apple slices.

Storage

You can store leftover apple cider in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days and then reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. It’s also possible to freeze it for up to 6 months. Simply let it thaw in the refrigerator.

two glasses with homemade apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick and a few apple slices.

Discover More Delicious Drinks

two glasses with homemade apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick and a few apple slices.

Apple Cider

Prep 15 minutes

Cook 3 hours

Total 3 hours 15 minutes

Dive into the essence of fall with this aromatic Apple Cider, capturing the rich symphony of both sweet and tart apples harmoniously blended with citrusy orange and warm spices. Every sip promises a delightful dance of flavors, transporting you to crisp autumn mornings, surrounded by falling leaves and the comforting embrace of a cozy sweater.

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Instructions 

  • Wash the apples and orange thoroughly. Quarter the apples and slice the orange, but do not peel the orange.

  • In a large pot, combine the apples, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and allspice. Add the water to the pot, ensuring that all the fruits are submerged. (You can add more water if needed.)

  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer covered for about 2 hours.

  • After 2 hours, use a potato masher to mash the fruits to release their flavors. Let it simmer for an additional 1 hour.

  • Use a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to strain the cider into a clean pot, removing all the solid pieces.

  • Return the strained liquid to heat, and add the sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Taste the cider and add more sugar if desired, depending on your sweetness preference.

  • Serve the apple cider warm, garnished with cinnamon sticks or orange slices. Alternatively, allow it to cool and then refrigerate. Consume within 5-7 days for the best flavor. Can be served cold or reheated as desired.

Notes

  1. Apple Varieties: Using a mix of apple varieties enhances the depth of flavor in your cider. Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Granny Smith are great choices.
  2. Adjusting Sweetness: The sweetness level of the cider can be adjusted based on personal preference. If you’d like a more natural sweetener, honey or maple syrup can be used in place of granulated sugar.
  3. Storing: Store any leftover cider in the fridge and consume within a week for optimal flavor. Before serving from the fridge, give it a good stir as some natural settling may occur.
  4. Boost the Flavor: For a spicier kick, consider adding a few slices of fresh ginger or a pinch of nutmeg.
  5. Alcohol Option: For those wanting an alcoholic version, mix in a splash of bourbon or rum before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1servingCalories: 181kcal (9%)Carbohydrates: 48g (16%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 1g (2%)Saturated Fat: 0.1g (1%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gTrans Fat: 0.001gSodium: 28mg (1%)Potassium: 291mg (8%)Fiber: 7g (29%)Sugar: 38g (42%)Vitamin A: 169IU (3%)Vitamin C: 19mg (23%)Calcium: 58mg (6%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.

two glasses with homemade apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick and a few apple slices.

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