Slow Cooker Spiked Apple Cider Recipe

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As the crisp air of autumn settles in, there’s nothing more comforting than a warm, spiced drink to keep the chill at bay. This Slow Cooker Spiked Apple Cider is the perfect blend of cozy spices, sweet fruit, and a splash of your favorite rum or bourbon. Whether hosting a fall gathering or simply unwinding after a busy day, this drink will surely bring warmth and cheer.

Why You’ll Love This Spiked Apple Cider

  • Warm and Cozy: Perfect for chilly evenings and festive gatherings.
  • Easy to Make: Simple ingredients and minimal prep make this a hassle-free recipe.
  • Versatile: It can be made with either rum or bourbon and is easily adapted for non-alcoholic versions.

Ingredients Overview

  • Apple Juice: 2 quarts, the base of our cider, providing a sweet and fruity flavor.
  • Oranges: 2 small, thinly sliced, adding a citrusy brightness.
  • Apples: 2, thinly sliced, for an extra layer of apple goodness.
  • Cinnamon Sticks: 4, infusing the cider with warm, spicy notes.
  • Whole Cloves or Star Anise: 1/2 tablespoon, adding depth and aromatic spice.
  • Brown Sugar: 1/3 cup for a hint of caramel sweetness.
  • Rum or Bourbon: 1 1/3 cups for a spiked kick.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Ingredients

  1. Slice the Fruit: Thinly slice the oranges and apples. This ensures they infuse maximum flavor into the cider.
  2. Measure the Spices and Sugar: Have your cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and brown sugar ready.

Cooking the Cider

  1. Add Ingredients to Slow Cooker: Pour the 2 quarts of apple juice into your slow cooker. Add the sliced oranges, apples, cinnamon sticks, cloves or star anise, and brown sugar.
  2. Set and Cook: Set your slow cooker to low and let it cook for 3-4 hours. All of the flavors come together beautifully as the food simmers slowly.

Adding the Alcohol

  1. Stir in the Spirits: About 10-15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, stir in the 1 1/3 cups of rum or bourbon. This ensures the alcohol retains its potency without cooking off.

Tips for the Perfect Apple Cider

  • Use Fresh Spices: Fresh cinnamon sticks and whole cloves/star anise provide the best flavor.
  • Don’t Overcook the Fruit: While the long cooking time infuses the flavors, keep the fruit from becoming too mushy.
  • Adjust Sweetness: Taste before serving and adjust the sweetness if needed by adding more brown sugar or a bit of honey.

Serving Suggestions

  • Garnish: Serve with a cinnamon stick, a slice of apple, or an orange wedge for a festive touch.
  • Side Treats: Pair with gingerbread cookies, spiced nuts, or a slice of pumpkin pie for a delightful fall treat.

Variations and Add-Ins

  • Non-Alcoholic Version: Omit the rum or bourbon for a delicious, family-friendly drink.
  • Spice it Up: Add a pinch of nutmeg or allspice for extra warmth.
  • Cider Instead of Juice: Use fresh apple cider for a richer flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make This Non-Alcoholic?

Yes! Just leave out the rum or bourbon, and you’ll have a delicious, warming apple cider that everyone can enjoy.

What Type of Rum or Bourbon is Best?

Use a good-quality rum or bourbon that you enjoy drinking. Dark rum or spiced rum works exceptionally well.

How Long Can I Keep It Warm in the Slow Cooker?

You can keep it in the “warm” setting for 2 hours. To make sure it heats evenly, stir it every so often.

Can I Use Apple Cider Instead of Apple Juice?

Using apple cider will give it a richer, more robust flavor.

How Can I Make It Less Sweet?

Reduce the amount of brown sugar, or use unsweetened apple juice.


This Slow Cooker Spiked Apple Cider epitomizes fall in a cup. Its warm spices, sweet fruits, and a splash of rum or bourbon make it a cozy, comforting drink perfect for any autumn occasion. Easy to make and delightfully delicious, it will become a seasonal favorite. Enjoy!

Enjoy your cozy, spiked apple cider and savor the flavors of fall! Cheers!

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