Slow Cooker Apple Cider is autumn in liquid form! Imagine a cool fall day followed by a chilly evening warming by the fire, sipping on the flavors of crisp apple, honey, refreshing lemon, all of your favorite fall spices, and pineapple juice! You heard right….pineapple juice! Pineapple adds a nice tart and tangy finish to sweetened apple juice, perfecting the balance. This Slow Cooker Apple Cider (also known as Wassail) will become your new favorite fall drink! I have tried countless varieties of hot apple ciders and none of them dare to compare! Add a little brandy for an adult version that’ll have guests bragging about your bartending skills.
This is the same mesmerizing recipe that I have enjoyed for more years than I care to admit. Why use the word “mesmerizing?” Because with every soul-warming sip I am taken back in time to happy holidays with brilliant colored lights twinkling in the moonlight. I am reminded of a much younger me, with my siblings, excitedly decorating the Christmas tree in full anticipation while snacking on homemade sugar cookies and gulping down mom’s slow cooker apple cider.
As if there could be more reasons to love my mother’s recipe, she also uses uses honey versus sugar. If you’re looking for a healthier version of this recipe, feel free to juice your own organic fruit.
Slow Cooker Apple Cider is mulled in the slow cooker, however; it can easily be transferred to a large pot to heat on the stovetop so you can use that cooker for other things. I understand…cooking for the holidays can be tricky!
Favorite Autumn Desserts
How to make Slow Cooker Apple Cider
This cider could not be easier to prepare! It’s perfect for the busy holiday season with enough servings to satisfy all of your party guests. As you can see (above), the ingredients for this cider are all fairly healthy, depending upon your dietary needs. I often keep this around throughout our long New England winters to soothe a sore throat or clear a stuffy head. This works for me, but I can’t make any promises on behalf of your welfare. 😉
- Slow Cooker – used to heat the cider
- Juice – apple juice, lemon juice (fresh or bottled), pineapple juice
- Spices – nutmeg, cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves
- Sweetener – honey
- Fruit – apple, orange
- In a large slow cooker, pour the apple juice, lemon juice, and pineapple juice. Give it a little stir to blend.
- Add the honey, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks. Stir well to combine. The honey will sink to the bottom of the cooker. Be sure to blend the honey in well.
- Clean the outside of an orange and an apple. Do not peel either one. Slice the orange and float slices on top of cider. Next, slice the apple, stick whole cloves into the slices, and float them on the cider. When the brew begins to heat, the aroma will be fantastic!!!!
- Set cooker to LOW and cook for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally to blend flavors. If your cooker has a “Warm” option, you can keep the cider on warm throughout a dinner or party to serve at a tolerable temperature to your guests. Be sure to REMOVE cloves from apple slices prior to serving to prevent a choking hazard.
- Cider can be stored in the refrigerator and heated in the microwave for single cup servings. To make storage easy, simply save the apple and pineapple juice bottles to refill with leftover cider.
Slow Cooker Apple Cider
- 12 cups apple juice 96 ounces
- 1/3 cup lemon juice fresh or bottled
- 46 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 4-5 cinnamon sticks
- 1 apple sliced, optional
- 1 orange sliced, optional
- 10 whole cloves optional
- Add apple juice, lemon juice, pineapple juice, honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon to a large slow cooker, stirring to combine.
- Add cinnamon sticks. Slice apple and stick a few whole cloves into the slices to float on top of the cider. Slice the orange and float slices on top of the cider.
- Cook on LOW for at least 3 hours, or until cider is hot and aromatic.
- Remove cloves prior to serving to prevent choking.