Fragrant, flavorful, and fun, Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider will warm your heart with its seasonal deliciousness!
You know that it must be fall when I break out my crock pot and start simmering ALLLLL the drinks. Warm apple cider, mulled wines, homemade hot chocolate, there is just something so peaceful about snuggling under a cozy blanket with your favorite warm drink.
For me, Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider is the ultimate warm fall treat. Apple cider with hints of cinnamon and beautiful floating cranberries? It’s incredible. I love a warm drink in the fall.
If you’re one of those people who drinks iced coffee year-round though, you should try you this Iced Caramel Macchiato – it’s better than our local coffee shop! Iced coffee in the morning and warm apple cider at night. Heaven.
CROCK POT CRANBERRY APPLE CIDER
Like this recipe? Pin it to your DRINKS board!
Follow Real Housemoms on Pinterest
I have always been a seasonal scent kind of person. In the summer, if you walk into my house you’ll smell those beachy floral scents coming from my decorative candles. In the winter, you can bet your jingle bells that we’ve got peppermint or balsam fir scented hand soap in the bathrooms. But, it is always those fall aromas that really get me feeling warm and cozy inside.
The best thing about fall scents is that you don’t even have to go crazy with “faking it” with candles and soaps. Instead, simply baking and cooking with fall ingredients will fill your house with those amazing smells that make you want to go outside and jump in a leaf pile!
That feeling is exactly what this homemade apple cider recipe gives me. Not only does it taste like fall perfection, but BONUS – it makes my entire house smell incredible. Whether you simmer it on the stove or throw it in your Crock Pot (my preferred method), the smell from this cider will give you all the fall feels.
Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider is the ultimate fall gathering drink because it is for adults AND kids. The kids can sip on the yummy cider as prepared and adults can give their mug a little extra “kick” with some rum or flavored vodka!
Cranberry Apple Cider Ingredients
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- Apple cider – not apple juice!
- Cranberry juice – I use diet to keep the sugars lower, but regular would work fine too!
- Brown sugar
- Fresh cranberries
- Spiced rum or whipped vodka (optional, but SUPER tasty!)
If you’re looking to bring a little extra cheer to your crockpot apple cider, I totally recommend adding in some rum or vodka to your cider. Be sure you add your alcohol AFTER pouring the cider into your mugs.
How to Make Apple Cider in the Crock Pot
The secret to creating this fall drink perfection is the homemade “spice bag.” Whenever you drink mulled wine or warm apple cider, there’s more to it than just wine or cider that’s been heated up. The magic comes from simmering your drink with a special blend of fall spices to really bring out the amazing flavor of your base liquid.
- The first thing you need to do is prepare your spice bag – place your cinnamon sticks and cloves on a double-thick section of cheesecloth. Bring up the corners of the cloth and tie them with string to form a bag.
- Now, get mixing your apple cider! In a crock pot, combine the cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, cranberries, and spice bag. Give them a stir to combine.
- Time to sit back and let the crock pot work it’s magic! Cover your cider and cook on high for 2 hours (or until cider reaches your desired temperature). Discard the spice bag.
- Carefully pour your apple cider into your favorite glass mugs with a ladle and serve warm!
- Adults – if you want to add in alcohol, now’s the time. Add two ounces of rum or vodka to your glass before pouring in the cider and give it a stir!
To make your ciders extra festive, you can stir it with a cinnamon stick (and leave it in the glass) or add some orange peel for garnish. Cranberries, apples, and oranges are best friends – cinnamon too.
How to Make Apple Cider on the Stove
Making apple cider on the stove is just as easy as making it in a crock pot. I personally choose to use my crock pot because I can heat it up and forget about it, leaving it to simmer on low throughout an entire party or gathering. However, if you’re more of a stovetop cooker, here’s how to do it!
- Follow all the same preparations steps, but add the ingredients to a large stockpot or dutch oven if you have one big enough.
- Bring your apple cider to a low boil over medium heat. You don’t want high heat – that’ll create a roaring boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the cider simmer for an hour. The longer it simmers, the more fragrant and flavorful your cider will be! Stir the cider occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- Pour into glasses, garnish, and enjoy!
Looking for some more festive drinks to warm your soul?
- Apple Whiskey Sour
- Homemade Hot Chocolate (non-alcoholic!)
- Spiced Pumpkin Punch
- Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Rum
- Crock Pot Wassail (non-alcoholic!)
- more DRINK recipes…
Tools used to make Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider
Crock Pot: whether I’m making yummy drinks or simmering a chili, my Crock Pot is one of my favorite kitchen appliances!
Footed Glass Mugs: How gorgeous are these?! Perfect for showing off the beautiful color of your crockpot apple cider!
*This post originally posted on 12/06/2013.
- 3 cinnamon sticks 3 inches, broken
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 2 quarts apple cider
- 3 cups cranberry juice (regular or diet)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 12 ounces spiced rum or whipped vodka (optional)
- Layout a piece of cheesecloth and fold it back over onto itself to create a double-thick piece. Place the cinnamon sticks and cloves on the cheesecloth. Bring up the corners of the cloth and tie with a string to make a little bag.
- Add cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, cranberries, and spice bag to your crock pot.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours, until the cider is nice and hot. Use a spoon to fish out the spice bag, then discard it.
- Use a ladle to portion the cider into mugs. Be sure to get some cranberries in each glass. For adults, add 2 ounces of rum or vodka before filling your glass, if desired.