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cider beauty

Warm Mulled Cranberry-Vanilla Cider


cider beauty

Warm Mulled Cranberry-Vanilla Cider

Gently spiced apple cider, called “mulled” cider, is a classic fall and winter warmer. Sometimes it’s fun to perk it up with different fruity flavors, like the tart-sweet cranberry juice in this recipe. Most of the cranberry juice you see in the store is actually “cranberry juice cocktail” — which usually means that lots of sweetener has been added — so please buy pure cranberry juice for this recipe.
By Adam Ried
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 Servings

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Vegetable peeler (adult needed)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Medium-sized pot
  • Sieve
  • Heatproof container
  • Spoon


  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
  • 2 cups pure cranberry juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons light or dark brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Wash the orange well, and use the vegetable peeler to remove long strips of zest (the orange part, not the white part underneath) from half of it. Slice the other half of the orange into thin half moons.
  • Put the cider and cranberry juice in the pot, and add the orange zest, the cinnamon sticks, the cloves, the sugar, and a tiny pinch of salt.
  • Put the pot on the stove, turn the heat to medium-high, and heat the mixture until it’s a bit steamy, about 7 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes.
  • Set the sieve over the heatproof container, strain the cider mixture, and throw away the solids in the sieve. Add the vanilla and stir to mix. Pour the mixture into mugs, float an orange slice in each one if desired, and serve. 


No cranberry juice? No problem! Use all apple for a classic flavor and omit the sweetener. 
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