Easy Homemade Apple Cider

This easy homemade apple cider recipe is actually an old recipe of mine, from back in the day. So old, that the photo attached to it completely horrified me. I was home for Sukkos this year (like so many of you) and I dug up my recipe for this homemade apple cider. I thought that it would be perfect for those cold nights out in the sukkah. Turns out, it was perfect.

So many of my dear followers told me how much they enjoyed the recipe. I figured it was high time to an updated post. This time with 2 different methods to cook it and of course….a version with booze!

Apple cider v.s. Apple juice

Cider is the closest you can get to eating apples right off of the tree. The apples are chopped, mashed, and or pressed to release their juice through a cheesecloth or strainer. The result is a slightly cloudy and caramel colored drink that’s both sweet and tart in flavor. It is perishable and should be refrigerated. Unpasteurized cider can even start to ferment and turn into hard cider over time.

Juice is made in the same method we went through above, but then the juice is heated to a high temperature to pasteurize and extend the shelf life. It can sit unopened in your cabinet for months.

What else goes into apple cider?

At its core, it’s just apples and water. I like to add a little bit of sweetener, an orange, cinnamon sticks and sometimes a little all-spice to boost the flavor.

Easy Homemade Apple Cider

2 ways to make easy homemade apple cider

Stovetop:

This is the quicker method, that results in delicious homemade cider in half of the time of a slow cooker.

  1. Combine chopped apples and a navel orange with brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and water.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
  3. After 1 1/2 hours, I like to remove the orange to it doesn’t give off any bitter notes.
  4. Next, mash the very soft apples with a potato masher and cook for an additional 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Cool and strain with cheesecloth.
Easy Homemade Apple Cider

Slow cooker

this is my favorite method because of the deep caramel color it develops. You can put it up and forget about it for a little while.

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook for 3 hours on low.
  3. Remove the orange, mash the apples, and cook for another 3 hours.
  4. Cool and strain with cheesecloth

Turn it into a cocktail

When your in the mood of something a little boozy, add an oz or two of salted caramel vodka to some warm apple cider. If you’re feeling extra, feel free to top it off with some whipped cream and caramel sauce like I’ve done below.

Easy Homemade Apple Cider

How to store

Keep apple cider in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. Transfer to the freezer to store for longer.

Substitutes

You may sub honey for the brown sugar.

More apple recipes

Apple Crumble Bars

Apple Loaf Cake

Pumpkin Apple Soup

Homemade Apple Cider

A warm and delicious homemade drink to cozy up to when the weather outside is frightful!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Crock pot time 6 hrs
Course Drinks
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • Slow cooker (optional)
  • Cheesecloth or a very fine mesh strainer

Ingredients
  

  • 8-10 medium apples chopped into 4 pieces, core discarded
  • 1 navel orange (optional) cut into 4-6 sections
  • 5 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, or honey
  • 1 tsp all spice (optional)
  • 8 cups water

Instructions
 

Stovetop method

  • Combine chopped apples and a navel orange with brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
  • After 1 1/2 hours, I like to remove the orange to it doesn't give off any bitter notes. Next, mash the very soft apples with a potato masher and cook for an additional 1 1/2 hours.
  • Cool and strain with cheesecloth.

Slow Cooker method

  • Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  • Cook for 3 hours on low.
  • Remove the orange, mash the apples, and cook for another 3 hours.
  • Cool and strain with cheesecloth

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