This hot spiced apple cider uses apple cider or apple juice for a healthy, spicy and easy drink that’s perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. This recipe is naturally paleo with a vegan option.
During the holidays, or really any type of get together, I always forget about drinks until the last minute. If you’re like me and need something quick (or even if you plan well ahead), then this is perfect! By the way, it makes the house smell amazing.
It’s so simple but so delicious to warm up with a small mug of this. It can be fairly strong stuff, so a small serving is just right, or you can water it down slightly.
This recipe calls for orange skin. When I have navel oranges, I use a vegetable peeler to peel them before I remove the white pith and enjoy my orange.
Then I leave the skin on a plate on the counter for a day or two until completely dry before storing in an airtight container or bag.
Sometimes I even grind it up and store it that way to use in recipes that call for orange zest when I have no fresh oranges. The same amount of dried zest can be used in place of fresh if you’re interested in trying it.
As for apple cider, you want to look for a very minimally processed juice. The juice at the store that is completely clear has so much of the nutrition removed, you’re much better off finding a murky juice, even one that you can still see little bits of apple pulp floating around in.
If you live near an apple orchard, that’s your best bet for finding a minimally processed apple juice or cider. If not, look for apple juice with nothing else added, and certainly no extra sugar.
We enjoy this hot spiced apple cider without any sweetener in it. We think it’s sweet enough with the natural sweetness from the apple juice.
But if you prefer, you can use a little honey or maple syrup for a vegan version.
Want to spike it? Add a bit of rum! 2-3 tablespoons per cup (240 ml) of hot spiced apple cider is what we like to use.
I’d love to hear how you all like this homemade apple cider! It’s our go-to holiday party drink recipe.
Need more Thanksgiving recipes? Try these dairy-free mashed potatoes, pumpkin mac and cheese and mashed sweet potatoes with bacon. These healthy pumpkin brownies also look great! As do these Thanksgiving mocktails.
Hot Spiced Apple Cider (paleo, vegan)
- 4 cups (946 ml) apple cider or apple juice
- 2 large cinnamon sticks
- 3/4 teaspoon whole cloves
- a couple whole allspice berries
- skin of 1/2 a navel orange removed using a vegetable peeler fresh or dried
- 2-4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup for vegan (might not be needed, depending on how sweet your juice is)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, plus more to sprinkle over top if desired
- water if desired
- In a small pot over medium-low heat add the apple cider, all the spices and the orange skin.
- Slowly bring to a boil and then turn down to a very slow simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and taste before stirring in the honey if needed and let sit to cool slightly if desired. If not, serve immediately, being sure to strain out all the spices and orange peel. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of freshly grated nutmeg over the top, if desired, and serve with a cinnamon stick.
- You can also increase the recipe if desired and place in a crockpot on low for 4+ hours if desired. Any leftover hot apple cider can be strained to remove the flavorings and stored in the fridge to be reheated, or even frozen to drink another day or to use in baking.