Homemade apple cider is my go-to warm drink during winter. It is a delicious, easy-to-prepare drink, with apples and warm spices, that will make your whole house smell like Christmas.
If you never tried to make your own, try it now. It is so simple! Although it takes a bit of time, it is mostly hands-off and completely worth it. Just add all the ingredients to a large pot, fill it with water and place it on the stovetop, smash the fruits, strain the liquid, and you are done.
Why make your own apple cider?
Homemade apple cider is a true delight. But why make your own?
Firstly, it is very easy to make and your house will smell amazing.
Secondly, you can choose the apple varieties, spices, and sweetener intensity to your liking.
Thirdly, you can make it virgin (for the kids or people that don't drink alcohol) or add your favorite spirit and give it an extra kick.
Lastly, it is gluten-free, can be vegan, refined sugar-free (if you want to), filled with fiber, and you can make the preferred amount that you need.
Ingredients used in this homemade apple cider
Apples: Use whatever variety you like and have in hand. I like a mix of Granny Smiths and Fuji apples along with some golden delicious if I have them available.
Oranges: Use unwaxed oranges. Quarter them and add them to the mixture. If you like a subtle orange flavor, use only the peel of the oranges.
Quinces: Quince is my favorite Autumn fruit, so I could not resist adding it to this recipe. It makes this homemade apple cider extra vagrant.
Sweetener: I like to use prunes and raisins as natural sweeteners. Other alternatives are honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, or brown sugar. My personal favorite is thyme honey.
Spices: Cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and fresh ginger are my favorites. Cardamom pods, allspice, vanilla pod, and nutmeg are other great options.
Alcohol: Brandy, cognac, or any other type of spirit can give a little kick to the end result.
Tips & tricks
Make a sachet out of a tea bag or cheesecloth to place all of your spices. This will make it easier to dispose of them later.
Add your favorite tea to the apple cider to make it more fragrant.
You can add a cup of fresh cranberries to give extra color and make the apple cider slightly tangy.
If alcohol is used add it after removing the apple cider from the fire and straining it. Use ¾ cup to the whole mixture if you serve it in a punch bowl or add a splash (or two) in your own glass.
Keep the discharged fruits and add them to porridge or smoothies.
How to serve the homemade apple cider
Serve homemade apple cider hot or cold, depending on the season.
Add a splash of brandy or cognac to give an extra boost and make it adult-friendly.
Garnish it with fresh cranberries, apple and/or orange slices, and cinnamon sticks.
How to store the homemade apple cider
You can store the apple cider in the fridge, in a bottle or sealed jug/pitcher, after it reaches room temperature, for up to a week.
Freeze the apple cider for up to 3 months. Place it in an airtight container. Thaw it at room temperature. Drink it cold or warm it up.
Other apple recipes we love
Try out this recipe:
Homemade Apple Cider
- fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- large pot
- wooden spoon or potato masher
- 6 red apples
- 2 green apples
- 1 large orange
- 2 quinces
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 2 pieces star anise
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 piece fresh ginger in slices size of 2 thumbs
- 10 prunes
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¾ cup brandy optional
- 2 tablespoon honey optional
- 17 cups/4 lt water
- Wash the fruits. Cut them to quarters or eights and place them in a large pot (I use a 6-8 liters/1.6-2.1 gallons pot), together with the spices. Cover them with water, making sure that the water level is ~ 5 cm/2 inches higher.
- Place the pot over high heat until the water starts to boil. Reduce the heat to medium/low, cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer for ~ 2 hours.
- When the fruits are soft, mash them using a potato masher. Cover the pot with the lid again, and let it simmer for ~ 1 hour. If you want to add honey, do it now and stir well.
- Use a fine-mesh strainer to remove all solid parts. Press them with a ladle to release the juices.
- Serve it using heat-proof mugs/glasses, garnished with slices of fresh fruit and cinnamon sticks. Or let it cool down and serve at room temperature.
- Enjoy 🙂
Servings: 1 (200g) | Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 5.5g | Sugar: 25.58g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 18.1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 0.74mg