Easy Homemade Hot Apple Cider

Warm up the cold winter nights with this easy hot apple cider recipe that makes a perfectly spiced, healthy, and easy hot apple cider the whole family can enjoy.

Hot Apple Cider | Learn how to make healthy, sugar-free hot apple cider for the holidays | A Sweet Pea Chef

Without fail, I find I am so sad when the summer comes to an end because I think it is my favorite time of year.

But, as the leaves begin to change, the weather starts to cool and I hear those familiar holiday tunes, I realize just how much I love the winter holiday season.  I love the food, the time with family and the general hustle and bustle of life as it gets closer and closer to Christmas.  I mean… who doesn’t get the urge to tap their feet to Jingle Bells, right?

One way I love to celebrate the holiday season is to break out my easy hot apple cider recipe and share it with my family.  I just love the smell of the cinnamon, oranges, cloves, and apples simmering away on the stove.  It’s truly better than any candle you could buy.

I also enjoy the excited look on Dustin’s face as I hand him a steaming mug of homemade apple cider. Though, I always have to tell him it’s too hot to drink right away cuz we both know he’s gonna go for it if I don’t tell him.

Anyways, I hope you try out this easy apple cider recipe.  It’s quick and delicious and will make your house smell like Christmas.  Winner!

Separated ingredients for the Hot Apple Cider including unsweetened apple juice, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, cloves, and ground nutmegSpices for the Hot Apple Cider including cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, and cloves in a saucepan.


This hot cider is really simple to make and tastes so yummy.  It will warm your soul.  Well, maybe that’s going a little far, but it will definitely hit the spot.

Before we discuss how to make apple cider, let’s take a moment to talk about what is apple cider because more often than not people confuse apple cider with cider and sometimes even apple cider vinegar.

  • Apple cider vinegar is vinegar made of fermented apple juice.
  • Apple cider is a non-alcoholic beverage made from apples.
  • Hot apple cider is a hot drink typically made with apple juice.

I like to make hot apple cider by following these simple steps:

  1. combine spices with apple juice and cook over medium heat until the juice is aromatic;
  2. add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil;
  3. once the apple juice is boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Adding apple juice over the spices in the saucepan to make Hot Apple Cider.Simmering ingredients on low heat to make Hot Apple Cider.


Wondering what hot apple cider is made of? Typically, an apple cider recipe requires…

  • apples;
  • water
  • some spices
  • and sometimes alcohol.

It also often contains a lot of added sweeteners, like brown sugar or white sugar.

My apple cider recipe is a tad different and it requires a few different ingredients. I just found this to be the best apple cider recipe I ever tried. I like my hot apple cider sweet, flavorful, and healthy, too. And this spiced cider recipe gives me exactly that. <— LOVE

Plus this homemade apple cider recipe is quicker and easier than other hot apple cider recipes.  So, what’s in my apple cider?

  • unsweetened apple juice;
  • cloves;
  • cinnamon sticks;
  • black peppercorns;
  • nutmeg;
  • orange zest.

You can add pure maple syrup (instead of sugar!) if you want the apple cider to be sweeter, but I find it plenty sweet with just the apple juice that is naturally sweetened.

Pouring Hot Apple Cider through a fine-meshed sieve, into a mug.Close up of a Hot Apple Cider mug.


I have good news. If you make it refined-sugar free, apple cider is not a nag choice for your health over the holidays.  It’s not something to go drink constantly, considering it is higher in sugars from the apple juice, but it’s much healthier for you than regular hot apple cider recipes.


Now let’s discuss the apple cider benefits to celebrate the good news.

Pssst…did you know apple cider:

  • lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases;
  • lowers the risk of developing asthma;
  • lowers the risk of developing diabetes;
  • lowers the risk of some forms of cancer.

Not to mention apples and apple cider are a great source of antioxidants.

View from the top of a mug of Hot Apple Cider on a serving plate. The apple cider is garnished with 1/2 orange slice. In the background can be seen all the ingredients used to make the apple cider.


After you remove the hot apple cider from the heat…

  1. strain it through a fine-meshed sieve;
  2. transfer to big cups or big mugs;
  3. garnish with orange slices, apple slices or cinnamon sticks for stirring;
  4. allow to cool slightly and enjoy!

View from the top of 2 apple cider mugs. One of the mugs is on a serving plate. Both apple cider mugs are garnished with orange slices and in the background can be seen some of the ingredients from the apple cider recipe.


To extend the shelf life of apple cider, strain it through a fine-meshed sieve and store it…

  • in the fridge for 7-10 days;
  • or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 12 months.

To store the apple cider in the freezer, transfer it into an airtight container. Make sure you leave ½ inch space at the top as apple cider expands when frozen.

Horizontal image with a top view of a mug of hot apple cider on a sering plate. The plate is garnished with an apple cut in 2, cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, and cloves while the Hot Apple Cider is garnished with a slice of orange.

Easy Homemade Hot Apple Cider


I like this hot apple cider recipe during Winter but there are other winter drink recipes I like to make when the weather is cold. Winter drink recipes like my eggnog recipe or my hot chocolate mix recipes or my pumpkin spice latte. All these winter drinks will give you all the warm and cozy feelings. And they are yummy and healthy.


My Light & Healthy Non-Alcoholic Eggnog (Non-Dairy!) is just the perfect Winter drink. And it’s guilt-free. Plus non-alcoholic which means your kiddos can enjoy it too.

Light Eggnog | Introducing Eggnog without the guilt (and you can have it all year round!). Yes, you can rejoice now. | A Sweet Pea Chef

The eggnog recipe makes a creamy, thick, smooth, and perfectly spiced eggnog. Get the recipe.


Learn How To Make Hot Chocolate Mix (That Your Kids Will Love!) and never run out of hot chocolate mix. My chocolate mix is paleo, gluten-free, clean eating, and can be easily made vegan.

Two mugs filled with hot chocolate that have been made using the best hot chocolate mix recipe.

It’s very easy to prep this homemade hot chocolate mix. All you need is cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt, coconut sugar, and some milk. Get the recipe.


Last but by no means least – Homemade Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe. Pumpkin spice latte is not just for Fall, peeps. It’s a year-round affair if you learn how to make it at home.

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte | Low calorie, high in protein, low carb, cream-free pumpkin spice latte without an espresso maker! www.asweetpeachef.com

This DIY pumpkin spice latte is a delicious, healthy, and cheap way to enjoy your favorite coffee drink. Plus you can change up the ingredients and make this latte vegan, iced or decaf. Get the recipe.

5 from 8 votes
Hot Apple Cider | Learn how to make healthy, sugar-free hot apple cider for the holidays | A Sweet Pea Chef
Hot Apple Cider
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Warm up the cold winter nights with this hot apple cider recipe that makes a perfectly spiced, healthy, and easy hot apple cider the whole family can enjoy.
Categories: Clean Eating, gluten free, holiday, hot drinks, Paleo, Refined Sugar Free
Difficulty: Easy
Keyword: apple cider, apple cider recipe, hot apple cider
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 126 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 tbsp. orange zest
  • pure maple syrup, optional for added sweetness
  1. Combine spices in a sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat until aromatic, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  2. Add the nutmeg, and stir to combine.  The, add in the apple juice and orange zest.  Bring to a boil.

  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, depending on how strong you like your cider.
  4. Pour juice through a fine-mesh sieve, into a mug. Allow to cool slightly.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Combine spices and cook over medium high until aromatic. Add all remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, depending on how strong you like your cider. Pour juice through a fine-meshed sieve, into a mug. Allow to cool slightly.

Nutrition Facts
Hot Apple Cider
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 126
% Daily Value*
Sodium 10mg0%
Potassium 276mg8%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 23g26%
Vitamin C 4.8mg6%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey there! I’m Lacey Baier and I’d like to welcome you! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, as well as cleanish, my clean-eating supplement brand. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

68 thoughts on “Easy Homemade Hot Apple Cider

  1. For those of you looking for the original recipe, I was able to track it down! 🙌🙌🙌 Screenshot it and print it! https://web.archive.org/web/20160406182239/http://www.asweetpeachef.com/drinks/easy-hot-apple-cider-recipe/

  2. I would like to make hot apple cider in the crockpot for thanksgiving. Can I use cinnamon instead of cinnamon sticks? Cinnamon sticks are hard to find at by grocery store, Can I make it on stovetop first, strain and keep warm in crockpot? Thanks!

  3. The recipe has changed since 2018, can you please repost the original one? That “way back” website did not find anything. The original one was great.

    1. I was able to track it down on that Wayback Machine website:

      1. You’re so welcome! I loved that original recipe too and was disappointed when I clicked on my bookmark and it was gone. I’m glad she posted that wayback machine website so I could find it.

    2. I was able to find the original on that wayback website:


  4. 5 stars
    So yummy and easy! I live in the UK and you can’t just buy apple cider in the stores during autumn. I wanted a quick and easy way to enjoy this seasonal drink and this sure delivered. How delicious!! Thank you.

  5. 5 stars
    How best do you store this? I have just made some and I’d like to give some of the apple cider to the person who grew the apples and kindly gave me them.

  6. 5 stars
    Hi there! I made it recently and it turns very delicious! I love it! Used apple cider for my Ginger-Apple Tea-https://myediblefood.com/slow-cooker-ginger-apple-tea-recipe/

  7. Would you please publish the original recipe? This one is not as good, and I do not have a copy of the original anymore.

      1. Sorry, I no longer have the original, but you can always use the Wayback Machine (https://archive.org/web/) to find old, no-longer published recipes and pages.

    1. Sorry, I no longer have the original, but you can always use the Wayback Machine (https://archive.org/web/) to find old, no-longer published recipes and pages.

  8. I made this recipe back in November and loved it! I recently came back to it again and saw that it had changed. Is there any way you could post the previous recipe too?

    1. Sorry, I no longer have the original, but you can always use the Wayback Machine (https://archive.org/web/) to find old, no-longer published recipes and pages.

  9. I cut your recipe in half since I’m by myself, and it came out delicious. Thank you. I will tell my friends and family about asweetpeachef.com

  10. 5 stars
    Just made this during the Thanksgiving break with my college girl. Delicious and easy!! We will be making this for the whole family Thanksgiving and Christmas!!

    We used Fiji apples and HoneyCrisp fresh pressed apple juice. So so yummy!!

  11. Made this last night for a crowd of about 30 – quadrupled the recipe. I skipped the sugar and it was sweet enough. Perfect winter drink for a crowd.

  12. 5 stars
    I absolutely LOVE this recipe! I didn’t have any oranges, sadly, so I ended up just putting two drops of orange extract (I was making a smaller version for a snack) I took the cloves out of the apples afterwords and ate them, because who can waste delicious food? Not me! <3 Ayways, I also added half a peeled apple, cubed, and now the apple cubes have cinnamon, clove, and allspice essence, and are floating in my drink! Thank you so much! Now, I gotta go drink it!!

  13. My family is diabetic. Can I use less of the brown sugar? What would be a good replacement without adding artificial sweetener.

    1. 5 stars
      You do not have to use the brown sugar the apples and apple juice have plenty of natural sugar

  14. Hi,
    Great receipe, looks simple as I don’t cook as much but love apple cider. Hope this is not a silly question, can we use it without the clovers? Whatdoes clovers bring to the taste?

    Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try it!!

    1. 5 stars
      Bonnie, you can make it however you like. You can purchase apple cider and heat it with just the cinnamon sticks if you like. If you check around the internet you will see many different ways to make this wonderful winter drink.

      Cheers, and Happy New Year!

  15. This sounds so good as do the comments. ;). I am making cider in jugs for Christmas baskets this year. I will also include a bottle of apple jack brandy as someone posted. Can this recipe be canned/bottled? In the hot bath method? Any suggestions?

  16. Thank you for the recipe! I made it several times last year for friends and family and they loved it. I am definitely making it again this year, now that it is the second day of fall.

  17. this looks really good and the comments all suggest that it comes out good so i’m going to try it!
    i am making for a crowd of 20 people. should i double all the ingredients?

  18. Hi!

    This looks great. Can you please tell me how many litres you can make out of this (doing this particular recipe

    Thanks a lot! :))


  19. Hello! I tired out your recipe at a little get together with some friends and it was a huge hit! I’m going to use it at my family’s big Christmas eve party, hopefully it will go over well there too!

  20. Just made this for our Holiday Party – we loved it! I added a couple of lemon slices and also a peeled piece of ginger. It looks so pretty simmering on the stove so I left the fruit in longer too.

  21. This looks great! Are the oranges and lemons super required? I would love to not go to the store for the third time..! 🙂

    1. While you can definitely make the cider without the oranges, they do add a really nice flavor an depth to the drink. If it were me, I would want them…but you’re welcome to try without them and see! It should still be tasty. 🙂

  22. My wife and I are having an ‘Autumn Gathering’ at our house this evening and greatly looking forward to using your recipe! Yours by far, looks like the best I could find – Thanks for posting! Also, Kelli (above) had a fabulous suggestion with the Apple Brandy; we’ll have that on standby!

  23. I made this today with my children for our trip to the local farm and pumpkin patch! The kids LOVE the cider! It will become our damn tradition every year!

  24. Hi,

    This looks very delicious and simple, I was just wondering how much it is likely to make? I really only want to do a small batch to test it out as my husband is very picky!

    Thanks 🙂

      1. Thank you! I made it last night – it was delicious and mr picky loved it! I added extra apples so I could eat them as poached apples afterwards – it worked out perfectly 🙂

  25. Just did this cider for a party and it was the hit! Only change I made was I added a couple slices of lemon. After taking out the apple/orange/etc, I left it on the stove on low during the party and although it thickened up a tad by the very end, it stayed hot and was great tasting. People added AppleJack Brandy if they wanted a kick. I will use this recipe every year now.

  26. Congrats on the bun in the oven 🙂 The apple cider looks fab. We were recently in NYC and my bf fell in love with hot apple cider at the markets we frequented. Must make it for him when Winter comes round for us!

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