Easy Hot Apple Cider Recipe
With Autumn fully here and winter fast approaching, I wanted to share this recipe for Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider with you, along with some special memories. Every year, for as far back as I can remember, my family has went to Silver Dollar City amusement park in Branson Missouri for their Old Time Christmas. If you’ve never been to Silver Dollar City, it is a family friendly amusement park set in the 1800’s and everyone working there wears frontier costumes. All of the buildings and rides are constructed in a frontier theme and the shops and restaurants in the park resemble what they would have back in the day.
The amusement park is filled with millions of lights for the Old Time Christmas and there are shows, live concerts, seasonal food, and a parade. In general, it is the most festive place to be during the Christmas season and we still go every year around Thanksgiving. Since I was a kid, I would always get the Hot Wassail (Hot Apple Cider) on the Town Square every time we went. There was just something about the warmth of the spices mixed with the fruity sweetness that has always appealed to me.
How to Make Spiced Apple Cider
I have equated the taste and smell of the Spiced Apple Cider they serve to that of joy, community, and Christmas. Last year in an effort to recreate their fabulous Wassail, I made my own recipe; Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider. Since making this recipe for the first time last year, I have served this at several Holiday parties and each time, it has been a success. You need to make this Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider! It is comfort in a cup, a warm hug, and Christmas sparkle all mixed together. First off, let’s start with 1 gallon of Apple Cider. Any brand will do! Next, you will need 1 orange and 1 lemon. Slice the orange and lemon into slices and remove all seeds. You don’t want a guest choking on a citrus seed!
Apple Cider Recipe
Pour the entire 1 gallon jug of apple cider into a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. If you have a larger slow cooker, it would be ideal for this but a 6 quart will also work – it will just be full to the brim!
Hot Spiced Apple Cider in the Slow Cooker
Add the sliced lemon and orange to the apple cider in the slow cooker. The lemon and orange will lend this Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider a delicious, vibrant, fruity flavor.
Cinnamon Sticks Adds a Delicious Flavor to this Hot Wassail
Once the apple cider, sliced lemon, and orange has been added to the slow cooker, toss in two whole cinnamon sticks. You can add ground cinnamon if you don’t have any cinnamon sticks on hand, but I highly recommend using cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon sticks have a more vibrant, robust flavor without the chalky texture of ground cinnamon.
Mulled Apple Cider in the Slow Cooker
Now that the other ingredients have been added, combine 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves in a small cup. Stir the ground spices together, then add them to the contents in the slow cooker.
Whisk the Spices into the Slow Cooker Apple Cider
Stir the ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves into the apple cider in the slow cooker. Use a whisk to fully blend the ground spices into the ingredients in the slow cooker until no lumps remain.
Easy Homemade Wassail
Place the lid on the slow cooker and set the cook time to low for 2 hours. If you’re in a hurry, set the cook time to high for 1 hour.
Hot Apple Cider
Once the cook time is complete, remove the lid from the slow cooker and set it to the “keep warm” setting. Keep the slow cooker on the warm setting as you serve this Slow Cooker Hot Apple Cider.
The History of Hot Wassail
Did you notice that I also referred to this Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider as Hot Wassail? Every year when we would get this cup of golden goodness at Silver Dollar City, they always called it Hot Wassail. Having only ever heard the word “wassail” in an old Christmas Carol, I decided to do a little research on the term. I found that the word ‘wassail’ derives from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which translates to ‘good health’. Originally, the wassail was a drink made of curdled cream, mulled ale, roasted apples, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, sugar, and eggs – not too appealing hu? One legend about how “Wassailing” was created, states that a beautiful Saxon maiden named Rowena presented Prince Vortigen with a bowl of wine while toasting him with the words ‘waes hael’. Over the centuries, a great deal of ceremony developed around the custom of drinking wassail, including a Christmas Carol that was written and sung in honor of the drink.
Spiced Apple Cider and Wassailing
You might have grown up hearing this old Christmas Carol and never understood the meaning until now.
“Here We Come A-wassailing”
Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wassailing,
So fair to be seen:
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too,
And God bless you and send you,
A happy New Year,
And God send you,
A happy new year.
Now when you drink your Slow Cooker Spice Apple Cider (or your Hot Wassail, whatever you want to call it), you can share the story of the history behind this centuries old drink. It has been a pleasure to have you in my kitchen today, making Slow Cooker Hot Apple Cider together and sharing memories and fun historical tidbits. I hope you will come back soon for a little visit and some conversation! Merry Christmas to you!
Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider
A warm and comforting Apple Cider filled with mulling spices and the fruity tones of oranges and lemons, perfect for any Holiday party!
- 1 gallon Apple Cider any brand
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange sliced and seeded
- 1 lemon sliced and seeded
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Place all ingredients in a 6 quart or larger slow cooker, stir well with a whisk until all ingredients are mixed well.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low 2 hours.
Serve hot and enjoy!
Shared at Meal Plan Monday
Shared at Full Plate Thursday
Also shared at Weekend Potluck
View at Foodie Friday
Shared at What’s for Dinner