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Homemade Apple Cider

Easy homemade apple cider. A perfect cup to warm you around Christmas time. Highly aromatic, and extra tasty.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Drink
Cuisine International
Servings 10 cups
Calories 144 kcal


  • 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 🙂


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, and keep the apple mash.
Add your favorite tea in 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. Add brandy, cognac, or any other spirit of choice.
Serve homemade apple cider hot or cold, depending on the season.
Garnish it with fresh cranberries, apple and/or orange slices, and cinnamon sticks.
Store the apple cider in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Vegan option: replace honey with maple syrup, coconut sugar, or brown sugar.
Keyword apple cider, apples, christmas, cocktail, cold apple cider, fall cocktails, fall mocktails, hot apple cider, winter cocktails