warm, mulled apple cider is just about the coziest fall beverage i can think of. and as a huge bonus, your home will smell AMAZING by the time you are sipping on a warm mugful of cider. i’ve tried a few different recipes and even a few premixed spice kits for making mulled apple cider over the years and this is the recipe i always come back to. it’s the recipe my friends always (very politely) request that i make. in fact, i’m not even sure why i try other recipes: this one is always delicious and it’s very simple to make.
this recipe is also pretty forgiving: whether you simmer the cider for 30 minutes or an hour, it’s going to be good. you can simmer it for longer, just be prepared for it to start to separate a bit more. i won’t pretend i know the science behind it, all i know is it still tastes just as good but if you’re serving it to guests, you may prefer the aesthetics of the simmered-for-under-an-hour version. you can always simmer it for under an hour, then briefly heat up individual servings as needed.
the other thing that will help keep the cider from separating is to avoid letting it come to a boil. again, it still tastes (and smells!) amazing, it just might be a bit disconcerting if you forget about the cider, let it boil for half an hour, and then come back to find it all wonky looking. so if you want it to stay “cider-y” looking, simmer, and for not more than an hour.
and along those lines, if you want to make this in a slow cooker to keep warm for hours during a party, you absolutely can, just know that towards the end of the party, guests are going to need to give it a stir before pouring ladlefuls into their mugs. again, it tastes and smells delicious! it just looks a little funny.
in terms of timing in the slow cooker, you’ll want to leave extra time on the front end for the cider to heat up and start simmering in the slow cooker (more specific directions appear below in the recipe instructions). but your guests will certainly be happy campers when they walk into your deliciously scented house and you hand them a warm mug that is the source of all the good smells. yum! happy fall indeed.