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Hot Spiced Apple Cider with Pomegranate (So Easy!)

In this Hot Spiced Apple Cider, fresh pressed apple cider and tart pomegranate juice are paired with mulling spices and fresh fruit to create a cozy beverage perfect for sipping during this autumn and winter season.

Two glasses of hot spiced apple cider

Creating This Hot Spiced Apple Cider Recipe

The week before Thanksgiving I was cruising the produce isle of my grocery store and saw a gallon of freshly pressed apple cider. I tossed that into my cart with plans to make something warm to drink.

See, I’ve decided that I don’t post nearly enough drink recipes. Why is that? Probably because I don’t make a lot of drinks. But when I do make them, I always enjoy them.

Sure we have a couple favorites around here, like Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate from last winter. Or Pineapple Limeade Cooler and Cherry Limeade Slushies from this summer. But I really don’t experiment with drinks all that much. And perhaps that is a little odd for someone who writes a food blog.

This Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider really fit the bill. My husband was out of town the week before Thanksgiving.

My quiet evenings alone (after the kids went to bed, because we all know it’s not usually quiet when kids are around) were spent watching old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while sipping hot spiced apple cider.

Now that it is feeling a bit more like winter around here, I am craving warm things to drink. Instead of jumping to our old standby of hot chocolate, I’ve decided that I’m going to start giving some new drinks a try.

Ingredients in Hot Spiced Apple Cider

The apple cider purchase is fresh pressed and contained no sweeteners or spices. As such, I had to make my own mulling spices. Here’s an overview of the simple ingredients you’ll need to prepare this recipe:

For the apple cider mulling spices in this recipe, I used:

  • Whole cloves
  • Whole allspice berries
  • Cinnamon sticks

And for the rest of the recipe, you’ll need:

  • Pomegranate juice
  • Fresh pressed apple cider
  • Brown sugar
  • Orange

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

Can the Pomegranate Juice Be Omitted?

If you’d rather make classic hot spiced apple cider, I’m sure you could substitute the pomegranate juice for additional fresh pressed apple cider.

Note that you may not need as much brown sugar called for in the recipe if using just apple cider.

Alternatively, you could substitute the pomegranate juice for unsweetened cranberry juice. Just make sure it is unsweetened and not cranberry cocktail, otherwise it may be too sweet.

How to Make Spiced Apple Cider

Making hot mulled apple cider is so easy, and the stove does most of the work for you. Here’s an overview of how this hot apple cider drink comes together.

  1. Combine the pomegranate juice, apple cider, brown sugar, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon sticks in a large pot.
  2. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Add the orange slices. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Place a slice of orange in each glass before serving. Serve hot.
  4. For a party, transfer the hot spiced cider to a crock pot to keep warm.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

Tips for Making the Best Spiced Apple Cider

This sweet cider is the perfect drink for the holiday season. Check out the following tips so you get the best flavor every time you make a batch of it:

  • Make sure you’re using fresh apple cider and not regular apple juice. It doesn’t contain added sugar or spices, it’s just fresh pressed apples. I can usually find gallons of fresh pressed cider in the produce department of my grocery store.
  • Use whole spices rather than ground spices. Makes for a prettier appearance in clear glasses because the hot spiced cider doesn’t cloud or have any of the spice mixture settling on the bottom.
  • Do not add whole spices to glasses or mugs when serving.

Hot Spiced Apple Cider Garnish Ideas

For a pretty serving presentation, try garnishing your glasses of pomegranate apple cider with one of the following:

How to Spike this Spiced Apple Cider

Prefer an alcoholic beverage? This non-alcoholic drink can easily be adapted by adding a splash of bourbon or whiskey directly to your glass. I prefer preparing homemade apple cider with pomegranate juice without alcohol so that the kids can enjoy it, too.

How to Keep Apple Cider Warm

If you’re serving hot mulled apple cider to a crowd, I recommend heating it in a slow cooker on low and serving it that way. This way, the cider stays warm all night long. Plus, the warm spices make the whole house smell amazing.

How Long Does Spiced Apple Cider Last

Leftover cider keeps in the fridge for about a week and the flavors develop further over time.

Try this Easy Hot Apple Cider Recipe!

Next time you’re looking for a cozy winter drink to serve at a holiday party, give this Pomegranate Spiced Apple Cider a try! Did you think it was the perfect summertime drink? Leave a comment below and give it a review for others to see what you thought of this great drink recipe.

On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me with @goodlifeeats and #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see your photo of this hot mulled cider!

More Easy Winter Drinks:

This Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate is infused with real pumpkin puree and plenty of pumpkin spice for a delectable fall drink!

Spiked Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate takes traditional hot chocolate to the next level with the addition of the flavors of mocha, peppermint, and some optional Irish cream. Top it all off with Peppermint Mocha Whipped Cream and Marshmallows for an unbelievable sweet treat.

Easy Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte, featuring real pumpkin, can be whipped up in just a few minutes for you to enjoy and warm up with this fall.

Christmas Wassail is a classic this time of year. Apple cider, orange juice, and cranberry juice are spiced with  plenty of cinnamon and cloves for a holiday treat.

Need a Christmas or Thanksgiving cocktail recipe? Try this Cranberry Rosemary Shrub Cocktail. It’s an easy bourbon cocktail that has hints of black pepper, cinnamon, and rosemary.

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Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider

Spiced Pomegranate Apple Cider

Yield: serves 6 - 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Fresh pressed apple cider and tart pomegranate juice pair with mulling spices and fresh fruit to create a fall-inspired cocktail, perfect for sipping during this autumn and winter season.


  • 3 cups Pomegranate Juice
  • 4 1/2 cups Pressed Fresh Apple Cider (no added sugar or spices)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Whole Allspice Berries
  • 2 whole Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 large Orange, cut in slices
  • 1 drop pure orange essential oil, optional


  1. Combine the pomegranate juice, apple cider, brown sugar, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon sticks in a small stockpot or large saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Add the orange slices. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Alternatively, keep warm in a crock-pot on low if you are entertaining for the holidays.
  4. Do not add whole spices to glasses or mugs when serving. Place a slice of orange in each glass. Serve hot.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 158Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 17mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 2gSugar 33gProtein 1g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!


Wednesday 27th of November 2019

I tried this recipe as is no substitutes and it was like liquid candy. I wasn’t able to serve at my thanksgiving gathering. If anyone has suggestions on how to reduce the sweetness for adult consumption, please post.


Wednesday 27th of November 2019

Hi, did you use fresh pressed apple cider with no added sugar or spices or did you use sweetened and spiced apple cider? This recipe should not be that sweet with only 2 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar in the recipe. I use the type I find in my grocery store's produce department that is labeled fresh pressed apple cider. It is not spiced cider which often has added sugar and spices. I would be happy to help with troubleshooting. If you did use spiced cider, add additional pomegranate juice and fresh cider of the unsweetened variety until your desired flavor is reached. Alternatively, you could prepare this as an alcoholic beverage and add a dry red wine to it, test 1 cup at a time until your desired flavor is reached.


Saturday 24th of December 2016

YOU GUYS - ADD WHISKEY. 1/2 a liter of 2 Gingers - you won't regret it.

(Drink responsibly, though - cheers!)


Saturday 24th of December 2016

Thanks for sharing!

Erin @ Cooking on Whim

Sunday 4th of December 2011

Just made this on Friday for girls night.... with some minor modifications. It was a hit! Thanks for the fantastic idea!

Tickled Red

Thursday 1st of December 2011

Lovely warm cider. I kinda miss those Buffy days ;D


Thursday 1st of December 2011

A delicious combination. Beautiful, festive and delicious!

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