This slow-cooker wassail recipe is a MUST-TRY holiday favorite. It'll have you wishing for cold weather. One sip and you'll agree . . . This hot mulled apple cider is literally WARM CHEER in a mug!
I'm telling you . . . There's nothing more inviting than the smell of hot mulled cider wafting all throughout the house when it's chilly outside.
This slow-cooker mulled cider is a MUST-HAVE drink recipe for fall and winter get-togethers with friends and family. It's always a crowd-pleaser at holiday shindigs (and is easy enough to make that it's a family favorite at our house on more intimate weekends when we're just hanging out at home, too).
Using a slow cooker for this classic cold-weather recipe allows you to prep, pre-make, and then be fully present with your family and friends. The slow cooker keeps the hot apple cider warm (and mulling) in the background while you get to sit back and enjoy some downtime with the people you love.
Time with your family is truly a GIFT — Giving them your full presence is an act of love.
This recipe smells SOOOOOOOO amazing. When the aroma fills the air, you simply cannot turn down a mug . . . It's autumn CALLING you to "drink it in."
So, what's behind this magical mulled mug-drink?
This easy, one-pot mulled cider recipe requires the following ingredients:
Apple Cider — You're looking for apple cider (not apple juice) without added spices or sugars. A good cider will look a bit cloudy and come from the refrigerated section of the store.
Cranberry Juice — Try to find 100% cranberry juice vs Cranberry Cocktail (which is mostly apple juice). If you're in a pinch, the cocktail will do though!
Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice — Cinnamon Sticks, whole Cloves, and whole Allspice (plus, the super-secret ingredient: aromatic bitters). You can sweeten the cider with sugar or maple syrup!
Dash of Citrus — Fresh Lemon & Orange Slices
How to Make Your Wassail Recipe IRRESISTIBLE
While these recipe ingredients mingle together SMELL and TASTE delicious, it's the garnishes that make this holiday wassail recipe LOOK irresistible.
My daughter would argue that our mulled cider recipe is not complete without these two additions — Fresh Michigan Apples and Wisconsin Cranberries.
I agree! These two local additions are required for the visual punch that makes this drink such a hit.
Here are three ways to give your holiday wassail IRRESISTIBLE holiday charm . . .
Add one or all of the following garnishes to your mulled cider:
SHARE THE LOVE — Slice your apples as directed above, but instead of leaving the star, have your kids use mini–cookie cutters to cut hearts in the center of the apple slices.
APPLE STARS — Slice your apples with the stem pointing to the side, across the middle (the equator) halving the apple right through the core for the first cut, to showcase the beautiful star naturally hidden within. (It's like magic for kiddos to see the star appear!) Then create more slices from each half.
POP OF COLOR — Fresh, bright-red cranberries give your deep-toned mulled cider a beautiful pop of color, providing the ultimate holiday flair. Add fresh orange slices is the perfect compliment!
Who can resist this cup of cheer?
Printable Wassail Recipe
- ½ gallon (8 cups) Apple cider, fresh
- 2 cups 100% cranberry juice
- ¾ sugar (or maple syrup to taste)
- 1 teaspoon aromatic bitters
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 2 to 4 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 Oranges
- 10 Whole cloves
- Add cider, cranberry juice, aromatic bitters, cinnamon sticks and allspice and turn the slow cooker to high.
- Stud the orange with the cloves and add it to the crock pot. Set a timer for 2-hours.
- Reduce slow-cooker temp to low/warm to keep the mulled cider the perfect temp all day.
- Ladle into cups and serve warm.
Mulled cider looks beautiful with all the fruit and spices floating on top, but they can make the cider challenging for kids to safely sip. Ensure an adult is serving if you use any additional garnish.
Mmmmmm. Can you smell the deliciousness?!?
For family functions or special occasions, we keep our mulled cider kid-friendly and always have a canister of whipped cream on hand. Have some fun and let the kiddos top off their hot cider mugs with unlimited whipped cream.
(You can add even more whimsy with fall or holiday-colored sprinkles, too! Kids love decorating their whipped cream in colorful combinations.)
We also offer adult guests the opportunity to do a bit of self-spiking with the alcohol of their choice. Some of our favorite options to offer are brandy, rum, whiskey, cinnamon schnapps, vodka, or red wine. (My Grandma Gertrude always rolled with brandy!)
When the temps get frigid, this hot mulled cider recipe truly warms your very soul. It makes any holiday festive and adds a little slice of heaven to an ordinary snowy weekend.
There's really no excuse NOT to make this fall delight. I promise . . . You'll be glad you did!
Cheers to you and yours,
P.S. Don't lose this mulled cider recipe. Pin it for later!