Spiked Apple Cider

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This spiked apple cider recipe is full of warming spices! It has a hint of caramel and citrus, plus a kick of rum. It’ll be the star of every soiree from Thanksgiving through the New Year.

A glass cup filled with spiked apple cider garnished with apple slices, thyme, anise, and a cinnamon stick.


Attention, fellow fall fanatics! I’d like to introduce you to an easy homemade cocktail recipe you’re sure to fall in love with! This spiked apple cider is a delicious concoction of spiced apple cider subtly flavored with orange and caramel and “spiked” with a generous splash of toasty rum. It’s the perfect mulled cider drink to warm you up as the weather gets cooler. 

Why You’ll Love This Spiked Apple Cider

  • Heartwarming. This delicious beverage combines spices, caramel, and rich apple cider to create a warming and indulgent experience.
  • Versatile. Make it with different spices and herbs or different kinds of booze. You could even make a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail or serve it on the rocks once it’s cooled.
  • Crowd friendly. This recipe is the best for hosting. It’s so easy to scale up. I recommend keeping a large batch in a crockpot on low heat for the duration of your party.
Overhead image of all the ingredients used for spiked apple cider.

Ingredient Notes

  • Apple cider (a.k.a. unfiltered apple juice): You could use standard apple juice, but it won’t be the same. Apple cider is a little thicker than regular apple juice and will give your cocktail a far superior apple flavor.
  • Orange juice: Select a no-pulp product.
  • Caramel ice cream topping: This is my secret ingredient – it adds a touch of indulgence.
  • Ground cinnamon and allspice: This is where the warming, festive flavors come in.
  • Dark rum: Or a different liquor of your choosing, like whisky or bourbon.
  • Brown sugar: This is optional. I use it to add a sweet rim to the mugs.
  • Cinnamon sticks: They make for an ideal garnish.

How to Make Spiked Apple Cider

  1. Infuse flavor. Combine the apple juice, orange juice, caramel, cinnamon, and allspice in a large saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Make it boozy. Remove the cider from the heat and stir in the rum.
  3. Fancy rims. Wet the rim of each of your mugs and dip the rims in a plate full of brown sugar to create a sweet, decorative brown sugar rim.
  4. Serve. Ladle the cider into the mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks.
Overhead image of two glass mugs of spiked apple cider garnished with cinnamon sticks, apple slices, and greens.

Recipe Tips And Variations

  • Use real apple cider. Apple cider is the pure, unfiltered juice made from freshly pressed apples.
  • Alcohol choices. Instead of rum, you could use whisky, bourbon, Cointreau, Tuaca, and amaretto. If you choose a liqueur such as Cointreau, Tuaca, or amaretto, opt for 1/2 oz per serving of cider.
  • Experiment with flavors. I used cinnamon and allspice but feel free to add star anise, cloves, vanilla bean, ginger, juniper berries, and/or rosemary sprigs to the mix.
  • Steep smart. I like gathering any whole spices and/or herbs I am using to flavor my cider in a loose-leaf tea holder to steep. This makes it so you don’t end up with random bits of rosemary in your mouth as you sip.
  • Serve from a crock pot. Make the cider in a crock pot and leave it on the low/warm setting for the duration of your gathering.
  • Play with garnishes. I love tossing some fresh slices of orange and/or whole cranberries into a batch of this cider just before serving. It adds a lovely visual appeal and some extra flavor.
  • Try it chilled. This recipe is just as delicious when served chilled from the fridge! Pour it over some ice and sip!

What Goes With Hot Cider?

I love serving spiked hot apple cider at holiday parties with an array of finger foods such as my Classic Deviled Eggs and/or this Pesto Puff Pastry Wreath. It’s also great to sip alongside a lengthier festive feast involving Oven Roasted Turkey, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, and Prime Rib. Let’s not dismiss how wonderful spiked cider is on its own, perhaps with a slice of Pumpkin Pie.

A hand holding a glass mug filled with spiked apple cider garnished with apple slices, thyme, anise, and a cinnamon stick.

How to Store Extras

  • To store: Let it cool to room temperature before sealing it in an airtight container and storing it in the fridge. It will keep for up to 5 days. You can freeze this cocktail before the alcohol is added. Seal it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 4 months.
  • To reheat. Leftover spiked apple cider is great cold over ice but, if you want it warm, reheat it over medium-low heat on the stovetop. You can also pop a mug in the microwave and heat it in 30-second intervals until warm.

Easy Holiday Cocktails to Try

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Spiked Apple Cider

Spiked Apple Cider is a delicious boozy cocktail made with apple cider, orange juice, and your choice of liquor. You'll fall in love with this easy fall cocktail recipe!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 6 cups apple cider, or unfiltered apple juice
  • 1 cup orange juice,, no pulp
  • ¼ cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • brown sugar,, for the rims
  • 6 ounces dark rum,, or bourbon, whiskey, or spiced rum
  • cinnamon sticks,, for garnish
  • star anise,, for garnish
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  • Combine apple juice, orange juice, caramel topping, cinnamon, and allspice in a large saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, then continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
  • While the cider is simmering, wet the rim of each of your mugs and dip the rims in a plate full of brown sugar to create a sweet, decorative brown sugar rim.
  • Remove cider from heat, stir in the rum, and pour it into the mugs.
  • Garnish with cinnamon sticks and star anise.
  • Serve immediately.


  • Opt for real apple cider, which is the unfiltered juice from fresh apples.
  • For alcohol, consider alternatives like whisky, bourbon, Cointreau, Tuaca, or amaretto. Use 1/2 oz of liqueurs per serving.
  • Get creative with spices. Along with cinnamon and allspice, add options like star anise, cloves, vanilla, ginger, juniper berries, or rosemary.
  • Use a tea holder for steeping whole spices or herbs, avoiding bits in your drink.
  • Keep cider warm in a crock pot throughout your event.
  • Enhance with garnishes like fresh apple slices, orange slices, or cranberries just before serving for visual appeal and flavor.
  • Enjoy it cold too! Serve the cider chilled over ice for a refreshing twist.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Ramona says:

    I loved the carved apples… how cute!! I would be flying high with a glass of this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Valerie says:

    I’d be more than willing to help you take care of that apple bounty! This spiked cider looks delish, hooray for giggle juice. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Terra Baltosiewich (@CafeTerraBlog) says:

    You had me at spiked…..but you know I love cooking/baking…..AND drinking booze LOL! Okay, first your old post didn’t look too bad, but seriously fun to see how far you have come with your photography, beautiful! Now this drink….I may have licked my screen;-) Hugs, Terra

  4. Meagan says:

    Love love love your apple cider cups. I’ll send you my address and you can send me some of your apples.

  5. Christiane ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time says:

    Yes, your apple jack-o-lanterns are adorable! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have to take Dudette around the neighborhood so I think this spiked goodness will be an outstanding gift to myself when I get home.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Hello Thanksgiving drink! I cannot wait to make this ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Denise Browning@From Brazil To You says:

    I need the whole jar just for myself. The pics are so cute, Kate!

  8. Laura Dembowski (@piesandplots) says:

    The apple cups are adorable! I totally need a good spiked beverage in my world!

  9. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet says:

    My daughter and I were just talking about hot apple cider yesterday and how we couldn’t wait to make some! This looks great! I will have to save the spiked version for when she is in bed!!

  10. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    Oh did you say spiked apple cider?! Sign me up for a big glass! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s mah gurrrrrl!! ;-D