Holiday Recipe: Old Fashioned Apple Cider [Blog]

A hot spiced cider for a chilly fall night!

I found this simple recipe on food.com, and love it for the memories it brings back- being little and having my mom make “witches brew” at Halloween- a tradition I carried on as an adult, for my own kids. 

But I always used store bought apple cider, and spiced it in the crock pot, cooking it all day long, and ladling out to kids who came through the house for treats. I finally decided to make it myself, from scratch. And it was so easy and made the house smell wonderful. My husband says it’s the best he’s ever had, and I have to agree!

First gather together these simple ingredients:

  • 8-10 apples ( I used large Gala)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 tbsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cloves (optional)


  1. Wash and quarter apples, and put them in a stock pot ( seeds, peels and all).  Cover with water, and add sugar.
  2. Tie cinnamon sticks and allspice (& cloves if you wish) inside several layers of cheesecloth with a string. Add that to the pot too, and stir to mix sugar and wet spice bag.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and let boil for ½ to 1 hour, then reduce again to a low heat, and simmer (covered) for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. When apples have lost most of their color and the water has become darker, remove from heat and let cool for a while.
  5. When it’s cooled down enough to work with, remove the spice bag and mash apples with a potato masher. This will release even more flavor into the cider.
  6. Lay a piece of cheese cloth in a colander and set it in a large bowl, pouring the apple mixture into it and letting it drain down into the bowl. This works best if the colander doesn’t sit too far down into the bowl.
  7. Mash it with a wooden spoon and let it sit and drain for several minutes. You can also gather the cheesecloth up and squeeze the cider out.  

That’s it! You can store it in the fridge for a week or so, heating it as needed. It makes about 2 qts, depending on how many apples and how much water you added to cover them.

Amazing rich flavor that brings back one’s childhood. I’d love to hear how you like it, don’t be shy!

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