Let's get into one of my all-time favorite fall and thanksgiving drinks: a warm and inviting glass of slow cooker pumpkin cider. Made with apple cider, a little brown sugar, mulling spices, and real pumpkin, she's simple to put together and will make your home smell absolutely delicious all day long.
Okay, y'all. Fall is absolutely epic this year.
It was meant to be, all the stars aligned: sweater weather took control right on the fall equinox, the pumpkin festival a few towns over started, our local town started giving out free ciders at the weekend farmers' market, and Greyson finished the second Harry Potter book, begging for friday's family movie to be the Chamber of Secrets.
In other words, it was finally officially The Greatest Time of Year.
Tis time for seasonal cider, campfires, and everything pumpkin flavor. So pumpkin cider? An absolute given.
She's a delicious cider that tastes exactly like a perfect day at the pumpkin patch. She's giving spiced, giving warmth, and she's giving mulled cider goodness.
I also have instructions to make it ahead of time (perfect for fall parties and thanksgiving!) and how to spike it for an adult pumpkin cider that is insanely good.
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What is mulled cider?
To 'mull' means to flavor a drink by warming it up and adding spices. Cider typically is mulled with spices and slices of fresh fruit, and served hot.
Apple Cider - This will usually be in the refrigerated section of the produce area in your local grocery store in the fall time! Try to get some without added sugar, and buy local if you can to support local farmers!
Pumpkin purée - The amount of pumpkin can be entirely up to you. Go for a hint of pumpkin or indulge in a pumpkin spiced cup of autumn.
Cinnamon Sticks, Allspice Berries, Whole Cloves, Star Anise - the great thing about mulling spices is that you most likely already have them in your pantry for all your fall baking!
Fresh Fruit - this not only flavors your cider further, but it makes for a gorgeous look. Slices of navel oranges, blood oranges, cored apples, pears, they're all welcomed.
Brown Sugar - this is my sweetener of choice, but you can also use maple syrup or your favorite substitute.
Instructions for Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cider
Pour all of your apple cider into your slow cooker, add the pumpkin puree and spices, and put all the fresh fruit slices on top.
Let cook on low for 4 hours, then strain through a cheesecloth-lined colander or mesh strainer to remove the spices and pumpkin puree.
Hard Cider - add brandy, bourbon, or rum while the pumpkin cider mulls in the slow cooker.
Make Ahead - Make the pumpkin cider 2-3 days in advance, keep in a pitcher with a lid or covered with plastic wrap in the fridge. Rewarm it in the slow cooker the day of your event.
Frequently Asked Questions
Regular cider is served cold with nothing added, no sugar and no spices. Mulled cider is made with spices and often sweetened, served warm.
If you decide to add alcohol to your cider, the majority (talking around 85%) of the alcohol will stay in the drink. Your boozy cider will stay boozy.
More Fall Season Drink Recipes
- Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice Copycat
- Vanilla Matcha Latte
- Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
- Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria
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- 6 cups apple cider unsweetened
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin filling!
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 1 honeycrisp apple cored and sliced
- 1 navel orange sliced
- Stir the apple cider, water, brown sugar, and pumpkin puree together in your slow cooker.
- Add in the spices and fruit.
- Let the cider mull in the slow cooker for 4 hours.
- Strain through a cheesecloth lined colander or mesh strainer to remove the solids.
- Serve warm garnished with fruit and cinnamon sticks, if desired