Mulled Cider

Warm cider and spices

Star anise, Clove, cinnamon, and rooibos tea steeped in warm dry cider.

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Autumn is here. That means warm drinks, spices, and of course, apples. Mulled wine is a staple but mulled cider is just as good. We’re throwing Rooibos tea in the mix too. They’re like two peas in a pod. Mulled cider just might become your post pumpkin patch nightcap. It’s an easy one to put your twist on too. Adding rooibos tea with the mulling spices adds some fun.

If you don’t like all the talking you can skip to the printable recipe card bellow

Mulling spices

mulled cider spices

Anise is known for the licorice flavor it brings. It’s a controversial flavor, but it just has to be paired correctly. Star anise has a natural sweetness that can help balance recipes. The Goal here is to use that to help balance the dry cider. Clove is a sweeter spice as well. The star anise and clove pair well here, while the cinnamon melds the two together. Using just a few mulling spices brings a more nuanced flavor. It’s simple. Nothing gets too lost or overpowered. Rooibos comes into the mix, holding everything together.

Mulled cider with rooibos tea

Apples and rooibos meld into each other flawlessly. My oldest memory of rooibos was actually a dried apple blend. So pairing the tea with a dry cider was a no-brainer for me. It’s great and brings a little bit of nostalgia. Rooibos also has a soft natural sweetness that helps balance the dry cider. For this recipe, I acquired an apple cider rooibos blend from Cup of Tea here in Oregon. It’s a blend of apples, pineapple, and cinnamon.

The blend is fantastic with this recipe. It brings a bit of complexity without being overpowering. If you can’t get your hands on this blend, plain old rooibos will do just fine.

mulled cider prep

Switching it up

I suggest using a dry cider for this recipe. The Flavor is simple and helps highlight the other aromatics. There are loads of different cider on the market, though. Find something you like that won’t clash with the ingredients. I had a pumpkin cider that would have been great with this recipe. Don’t let the spices here deter ya from mulling either. If you’re missing something, that’s just fine. Find what you’ve got a have fun with it. That’s the Joy of home cooking.

alternative mulling spices

  • allspice 
  • cardamom 
  • peppercorn 
  • dried orange peel
  • coriander 
  • juniper berry 
mulled cider finished

Boozy mulled cider

Optionally you can add the brandy and orange liqueur at the end. Simmering the cider will reduce some of the alcohol so the liqueurs will bring back some booziness. I just really like the flavors they bring. Brandy will have that earthy sweetness that pairs well here. Too much and it can become overpowering, drowning out the mulling spices and cider. the same goes for the orange liqueur. We really just want a whisper of their flavors in the mulled cider. Just a dash will go a long way.

Cider season has arrived, and this is the adult recipe for embracing the vibe. This mulled cider smells and tastes like the spirit of autumn. Great for a cool night on the porch watching the stars or a cozy evening next to the fireplace. Grab yourself a pack of cider to warm yourself up.

Mulled Cider

Servings 1
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 2 (2g) star anise
  • ½ tsp clove
  • 1 (4g) cinamon stick
  • 2 tsp (15g) honey
  • 1 & ½ tsps (1g) rooibos tea


  • 1 oz brandy
  • .25 oz orange liquer


  • Crack the spices with a pestle and mortar. They should still be intact just gently crushed.
  • Add the spices to a cold pan and bring to low medium heat. Once the mulling spices are fragrant add the cider and honey. gently simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the tea. Steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain the mulled cider into a glass. Optionally add the brandy and orange liqueur.
  • enjoy
Author: Anfernee Milton
Course: beverage, nightcap
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple cider, autumn, cinnamon, mulled cider, mulling spices, rooibos tea, warm drinks

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