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Mulled Cider and Mulled Apple Juice for a Non-Alcoholic Alternative

Mulled Cider or Mulled Apple Juice

Christmas, Drinks | 14th December 2016 | By

I’m not quite sure why mulled wine has become such a classic British drink at Christmas. Apple cider is a more traditional beverage after all. I’m as partial to a glass or two of mulled wine as anyone else, but given the choice I’d go for mulled cider every time. It has a lighter, fruitier and more refreshing taste. You don’t need to add as much sugar either. Mulled apple juice can be served alongside or even instead of, allowing drinkers and non-drinkers alike to join in the festive cheer.

At a time of year when it’s cold, wet or grey, a drop of mulled cider or apple juice is warming, cheering and tasty. It also acts as an air freshener for the house, filling it with the scent of fruit and spices. Mulled cider or mulled apple juice are very easy to make, the main thing that’s required is time for the flavours to infuse. Stud an organic orange with cloves, slice some apples, throw in a cinnamon stick, some cardamom pods and a grating of nutmeg and you’re done. A dash of calvados, if you have it to hand, can add to the general merriment. If you’re really pushed for time, you could just use an organic mulled cider spices pouch from Steenbergs.

Mulled Cider or Mulled Apple Juice

Let’s get hygge. A glass of mulled cider or apple juice is at its best when accompanied by a mince pie or even a chilli and chocolate mincemeat slice. Christmas has arrived, let the feasting begin.

For more festive recipes, head on over to the Tin and Thyme Advent calendar where you’ll find a delicious Christmas recipe from a fellow blogger behind each door. And don’t forget to head over to the Tin and Thyme Christmas gift guide if you’re in need of ideas for food loving friends and family.

So how about ditching the mulled wine this year and trying mulled cider instead?

Mulled Cider or Mulled Apple Juice
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5 from 2 votes

Mulled Cider or Mulled Apple Juice

Ditch the mulled wine this Christmas and make mulled cider or mulled apple juice instead. It's lighter, fruitier and more refreshing.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: British
Keyword: apple juice, apples, cider, spices
Servings: 6 people
Author: Choclette


  • 25 cl water
  • 1-2 tbsp golden granulated sugar for mulled cider only
  • 1 organic orange
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • a grating of nutmeg
  • 1 litre apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 dessert apple - sliced
  • a dash of calvados or apple brandy optional


  • Pour the water into a large pan and place over a moderate heat.
  • Stir in the sugar according to how sweet you like it. You won't need any if using apple juice.
  • Half the orange and stud one half with the cloves. Juice the other half and add both to the mix.
  • Throw in the spices and bring to the boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the cider (or apple juice) and warm the mixture until it's not quite simmering. Keep at this temperature, stirring occasionally for 8-15 minutes. Any alcohol will be lost if it reaches boiling point.
  • Remove from the heat, add the apple slices, stir in the calvados or apple brandy if using and pour into a serving vessel or ladle straight into glasses.


Double or triple the quantities as needed.

Other recipes for festive drinks you might like

Keep in Touch

If you make this mulled cider or apple juice, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. A photo is always good too. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

If you like the mulled cider recipe, why not pin it to remind you later?

Mulled Cidre and Mulled Apple Juice


  1. Corina

    14th December 2016 at 2:13 pm

    I’m ashamed to say I don’t think I’ve ever had mulled cider but I’d happily drink some of this – looks delicious with the cinnamon stick in!

    • Choclette

      16th December 2016 at 9:47 am

      Thanks Corina. Maybe this year is the year to try it 🙂

  2. Kavey

    14th December 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I actually prefer mulled cider (and the non-alcoholic mulled apple juice) to mulled wine, mostly because mulled wine is too tannic for me, even with sugar added to balance that. This recipe looks perfect!

    • Choclette

      16th December 2016 at 9:44 am

      Thanks Kavey, that’s very nice of you to say. I guess fewer tannins is what I meant by “lighter”.

  3. Stella - The Smoothie Vegetarians

    14th December 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I love apple cider! It is one of my favorite warm drinks. I am very excited to try this mulled cider!

    • Choclette

      14th December 2016 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks, it’s just so good at this time of year and for any festive gathering.

  4. Janie

    14th December 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I am all for the mulled cider, in fact we call in Bonfire Juice 🙂
    Happy crimbo Choclette, here’s wishing you a relaxed and tasty Christmas & a rocking 2017!
    Janie x

    • Choclette

      16th December 2016 at 9:40 am

      Aw, thanks Janie. Happy Crimbo to you too. Bonfire juice is a brilliant name. I just need a bonfire now.

  5. Kate

    14th December 2016 at 4:51 pm

    I love mulled cider and this looks soooo good. I just want to dive right in (with a glass, all civilised-like, mind).

    • Choclette

      16th December 2016 at 9:39 am

      Phew, I’m glad to hear you’re happy to try this with a glass Kate. I have visions … 😀

  6. Amy Katz from Veggies Save The Day

    15th December 2016 at 4:35 am

    I love apple cider! I’m definitely going to try your recipe.

    • Choclette

      16th December 2016 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Amy, it’s a winner at this time of year 🙂

  7. Mel | A vIrtual Vegan

    15th December 2016 at 7:01 am

    I have never had mulled cider or apple juice which is strange as I know I’d love it. I love you ride of drinking it with a mince pie as an accompaniment. I need to try this over Christmas!

    • Choclette

      16th December 2016 at 9:31 am

      Let me know if it becomes your must try this Christmas Mel 🙂

  8. Natreco

    15th December 2016 at 5:49 pm

    I love mulled cider, too. I think that it is not only lighter, fruitier and more refreshing but it is also healthier!

    • Choclette

      16th December 2016 at 9:29 am

      Interesting, I hadn’t thought about that aspect of it. Doesn’t red wine have lots of antioxidents?

  9. Elinor aka Beachhutcook

    15th December 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Looks so perfect. I do love the option to make non alcoholic too!

    • Choclette

      16th December 2016 at 9:25 am

      Yes, I usually do a bowl of each when I’ve got friends coming round; non-drinkers don’t have to feel left out.

  10. Nadia

    17th December 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Yay to non-alcoholic Christmas beverages 😀 As a non drinker, this sounds amazing! I’ve never had anything like this but it sounds so delicious and warming 😀 and it’s so easy to make! Must give it a try 🙂

    • Choclette

      17th December 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Oh you must. Mulled apple juice is fab for non drinkers as not only is it delicious and warming, but they don’t need to feel left out.

  11. Dean Johnson

    14th October 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Absolutely love this!! Thank you.

    • Choclette

      15th October 2018 at 5:27 pm

      Glad you like it, it’s getting to the season now.


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