Mulling Spice Recipe for Apple Cider

Mulling Spice Recipe for Apple Cider

The holidays can be a delicious, albeit busy, time of year. The flavors are some of the best, but they can be a little time intensive and elaborate to prepare. If you’re like me and would rather just get it done quickly and still have an awesome dish, then you definitely want this mulling spice recipe for apple cider in the Instant Pot.

Overhead view of a mug full of mulled apple cider next to a bag of vanilla mulling spices. A red poinsettia sits beside them on a white cloth. The overlay text reads: mulling spice recipe for apple cider.

Plum Deluxe has made it SO easy to make this delicious cider. Gone are the days of finding all these ingredients, chopping them up, and cleaning up the remnants. Just pick up a packet of Vanilla Mulling Spices and add the whole packet plus 2 quarts of apple cider into your Instant Pot. Close and seal the lid, pressure cook on high for 15 minutes with the keep warm option on, and quick release to vent. Press start and go work on something else.

The benefit of an Instant Pot is the reduced time it takes to cook something compared to a slow cooker. It will give you all those complex flavors beautifully blended together in a fraction of the time. However, you can also follow the exact same recipe and just put it all in a slow cooker on low for a few hours.

With either device, the longer the spices sit, the spicier the cider will be. If you prefer a more muted spice, reduce the time to 10 minutes in the Instant Pot. If you prefer a more bold spice, increase to 20 minutes. You wouldn’t think a few minutes would make that big of a difference, but it definitely does!

As soon as your Instant Pot releases the pressure, your home will be filled with the wonderful smell of
spicy cider and your guests will be ready to party. Since you’ll be adding the spices directly to the pot, you’ll need to strain it. You can scoop the spices out, strain the pot into another vessel, or put the spices in a filter bag at the start. Though it looks pretty, I don’t recommend leaving the spices in there as they will continue to cook and get a little overwhelming.

A mug of mulled apple cider sits next to a collection of various alcohol bottles and a trio of red poinsettias on a white tablecloth.

Spike It!

Ready for the best part? It is incredibly easy to add alcohol to this mulling spice recipe for apple cider. Which alcohol? Pick your favorite! This is a spicy cider, so adding alcohol to it just enhances that spiciness. The flavor of the alcohol isn’t going to be on display, so you might as well choose your favorite one that compliments the ingredients. Any apple, cinnamon, vanilla, or spiced alcohol (vodka, rum, whiskey, etc.) would work great in this recipe.

Pick your favorite and add it AFTER its done cooking. Don’t add the alcohol to the Instant Pot or slow cooker; doing so would just cook out the alcohol, which defeats the purpose of adding it. This will also allow you to serve it both alcoholic and non-alcoholic out of the same pot.

Overhead view of a mug of mulled apple cider surrounded by red poinsettias on a while table.

Mulling Spice Recipe for Apple Cider


Instant Pot Instructions:

Add apple cider to Instant Pot. Do not overfill! If your Instant Pot is smaller, cut the recipe in half.

Dump entire 1 oz package of mulling spices into cider.

Close lid and set to sealing. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes, keep warm on if you’ll be serving from the Instant Pot, and quick release pressure.

Once pressure releases, strain and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Instructions:
Follow the first two steps, above.

Set your slow cooker to heat on low for approximately 3 hours. Strain and enjoy!

A few notes:

Be aware of the max fill line on your Instant Pot. If you overfill it, the cider will boil when it releases pressure and cider will come spewing out the vent. You can probably guess how I figured that one out!

If you want to make it a little more visually interesting for serving, consider adding a couple apple slices or cinnamon sticks. The apple wont affect the flavor, but the cinnamon might, so use that one sparingly.

Overhead view of a mug of mulled apple cider and a bag of vanilla mulling spices on a white cloth. A red poinsettia is tucked to the side of the mug.

Mulling Spice Recipe for Apple Cider

Jesse McDonald

Jesse is a photographer and author currently living Jacksonville, FL, or wherever the Marine Corps sends her family. Her favorite thing to do is have tea with the most amazing little toddler the world has ever known.

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