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Hot Apple Cider

This hot apple cider recipe is a winter time favorite in our homes. Filled with a delicious blend of spices, some tang, and a hint of sweetness, this apple cider drink is the best you’ve ever tasted. And since we use the Instant Pot, you can have it ready in less than an hour.

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homemade apple cider

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Easy Apple Cider Recipe

The Instant Pot makes just about every recipe it touches easier. And this easy apple cider recipe needs very little prep time.

When you make this apple cider recipe, you’ll also see how fast it cooks up. You can have apple cider in less than an hour using your Instant Pot.

What is apple cider?

Apple cider is a combination of apple juice, some citrus, and a bunch of fall spices. Typically, to make it, you need to slow cook apples with spices for several hours. You then drain the cider and remove all the spices and fruit chunks for a delicious beverage you can serve hot or cold.

Here in Germany, it's a popular winter at the Christmas Markets and at home. It's a great way to warm up your body and enjoy the goodness of seasonal ingredients. The adults like to spike their apple cider with alcohol while the kids enjoy it as is. 

easy apple cider

Hot Apple Cider Video Recipe

What makes this the best apple cider recipe? 

This apple cider recipe comes straight from the German Christmas Markets. I got this recipe from one of the Christmas Market vendors who has been making and selling this Cider for generations. Ofcourse I fastened the traditional process of slow cooking the cider and gave it my own tweak by making it in the Instant Pot.

And you’ll love this recipe because we use the Instant Pot to quickly cook the cider. You will love that it cooks fast and doesn’t require a lot of extra prep steps and waiting time.

What is the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

When making apple juice, you really don’t use a lot of extra ingredients. But when you make apple cider drinks, you use various spices as well as some citrus to give the cider its distinct flavor. 

Apple cider in a jug

Does apple cider taste better than apple juice?

Whether you believe apple cider tastes better than apple juice is really a matter of opinion. We really love the seasonal taste and warmth associated with apple cider, but apple juice does have a refreshing flavor for when you want a bit more of a refreshing treat. When it comes to fall and winter, apple cider is king in our homes.

How Is apple cider and apple cider vinegar the same thing?

No, they are different from eachother. When making apple cider vinegar, the process starts with cider. The main difference is that vinegar undergoes a fermenting process to turn the cider into alcohol before turning it into acetic acid.

ingredients to make homemade apple cider

Homemade Apple Cider Ingredients 

When you make this apple cider recipe, you’ll need:

  • Assorted Apples - We use a combination of red, yellow, and green, but you can use whatever apples you prefer. 
  • Orange - For the citrus, we use an orange, but you could use a lemon or even a grapefruit for the tang.
  • Whole spices - We use cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, ginger, nutmeg , and star anise. You could also use all spice.
  • Water - The water helps to cook and juice the apples.
  • Sweetener - We often use brown sugar, but you could use maple syrup, agave, or monk fruit.
  • Cranberries or Pears - These are optional.

For garnish, we recommend having:

  • Fresh round orange slices
  • Cranberries (optional)
  • Whole spices such as star anise and cinnamon sticks
  • Fresh round apple slices

How to Make Apple Cider in Instant Pot

When making homemade apple cider, follow these steps.

how to make apple cider at home in Instant Pot

First, if you have a stainless steel mesh tea ball infuser, add the whole spices to the infuser. If not, then add all the ingredients into the Instant Pot. To eliminate any chance of bitterness core the apples and peel the citrus fruit. Although I have never done that but a handful of you who made this recipe, got some bitterness in the cider. Thus I have updated the instructions to core the apples and peel the citrus fruit. 

Next, close the lid, seal the vent, and Pressure Cook for 25 minutes, followed by a quick release

Once the pressure cook cycle is complete, carefully open the lid and remove the mesh ball infuser. Next, use a potato masher to mash all the ingredients for a burst for flavors.

Then turn on sauté mode and allow the cider to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Finally, using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain out the solids.

Serve the cider warm and garnish with fresh orange and apple slices and whole spices from the cider. You can also add cranberries if you like.

To store the cider, allow it to cool to room temperature and store in an air tight bottle for upto a week or freeze it. 

Apple Cider recipe steps

Stovetop Apple Cider Recipe

First, place all the ingredients in a large stock pot.

Simmer for 6 hours before crushing the ingredients and then straining the cider out of the pot.

Finally, serve the cider hot with garnishments such as cranberries, apple and orange slices, and spices.

Pro tips and tricks

When you make this homemade apple cider recipe, follow these tips and tricks for best results:

  • To eliminate any chance of bitterness in the cider core the apples and peel the citrus fruit. Although I have never done that but a handful of you who made this recipe, got some bitterness in the cider. Thus I have updated the instructions to core the apples and peel the citrus fruit
  • You only need to quarter the apples, no need to cut them any further
  • Garnish with apple slices, orange slices, cranberries, and whole spices to give the mugs a nice look.
  • Don’t forget to strain the fruit pieces and spices out of the cider before serving. The finer the mesh, the smoother the drink will be.

what is apple cider

Do you drink apple cider cold or hot?

We prefer to drink this homemade apple cider hot and fresh, but you can also chill and drink it cool. You might like it served chill if you make it over the summer. Over the fall and winter months, you’ll probably prefer to serve it hot to help warm you up on a cool night.

How do you serve this Apple Cider Drink?

We prefer to serve this apple cider drink hot and fresh the day we make it. You can store it and reheat it too, if you like, but fresh is almost always better.

To garnish, we often use apple slices, orange slices, or whole spices. You can also serve it without any garnishment.

We enjoy this homemade apple cider through out fall and winter. It's a perfect party drink for Thanksgiving and Christmas parties. 

You can also serve it alongside your meals or some of our fall and winter favorites:

More Apple recipes that you might like

Easy Apple Cider Recipe

Let us know what you think

If you make this delicious homemade apple cider recipe, let us know how it went! When you make this, be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind!

Hot Apple Cider Recipe

easy apple cider

Hot Apple Cider

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Hot apple cider is a winter time favorite in our homes. Filled with a delicious blend of spices, some tang, and a hint of sweetness, this apple cider drink is the best you’ve ever tasted. And since we use the Instant Pot, you can have it ready in less than an hour.

Ingredients

  • Assorted Apples 8 (red, yellow, green) quartered and cored
  • Oranges 1 quartered and peeled
  • Cinnamon sticks 3
  • Whole cloves 8
  • Ginger 1 inch
  • Nutmeg 1 whole
  • Star anise 1
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ cup sweetener (brown sugar, maple syrup, agave, monk fruit)
  • Cranberries ½ cup (optional)

Garnish

  • Fresh round orange slices
  • Whole spices like star anise and cinnamon stick from the cider.
  • Fresh round apple slices
  • Cranberries (optional)

Instructions

How to Make Apple Cider in Instant Pot

When making apple cider, follow these steps.

First, if you have a stainless steel mesh tea ball infuser, add the whole spices to the infuser. If not, then add all the ingredients into the Instant Pot.

Note : To eliminate any chance of bitterness core the apples and peel the citrus fruit. Although I have never done that but a handful of you who made this recipe, got some bitterness in the cider. Thus I have updated the instructions to core the apples and peel the citrus fruit. 

Next, close the lid, seal the vent, and Pressure Cook for 25 minutes, followed by a quick release

Once the pressure cook cycle is complete, carefully open the lid and remove the mesh ball infuser. Next, use a potato masher to mash all the ingredients for a burst for flavors.

Then turn on sauté mode and allow the cider to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Finally, using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, strain out the solids.

Serve the cider warm and garnish with fresh orange and apple slices and whole spices from the cider. You can also add cranberries if you like.

To store the cider, allow it to cool to room temperature and store in an air tight bottle for upto a week or freeze it. 

Stovetop Apple Cider Recipe

First, place all the ingredients in a large stock pot.

Simmer for 6 hours before crushing the ingredients and then straining the cider out of the pot.

Finally, serve the cider hot with garnishments such as cranberries, apple and orange slices, and spices.

Notes

Note

In the video the recipe doesn't call for coring the apples and peeling the orange, however since a handful of you bitter results, it's best to core the apples and peel the orange skin to avoid any bitter taste at all.

Pro tips and tricks

When you make this recipe, follow these tips and tricks for best results:

You only need to core quarter the apples, no need to cut them any further.

Peel to orange before adding it to the pot to avoid any bitterness.

Garnish with apple slices, orange slices, cranberries, and whole spices to give the mugs a nice look.

Don’t forget to strain the fruit pieces and spices out of the cider before serving. The finer the mesh, the smoother the drink will be.

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Reshu Agrawal

Tuesday 9th of November 2021

Hey, I have made this recipe & it came out very bitter. May I the possible reasons behind it? I love hot cider & want to try the recipe again.

TheBellyRulesTheMind

Thursday 11th of November 2021

Hi Reshu, Sorry to hear the apple cider turned bitter. This recipes has been tested several times by us and externally and we haven't had any issues. It could be the apple you used. Sometimes apples have a disease called bitter pit. Next time core the apple before using them. I will update it in the notes as well.

Sarah L Dowdey

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

@Reshu Agrawal, I did the same and I realized you have to take the oranges out before mashing everything, otherwise the orange peel pith (white part) gives off the very bitter after taste that no amount of sugar can rescue.

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