Cranberry Spiced Apple Cider

Cranberry spiced apple cider will become your favorite holiday beverage! It’s easy to make on the stove top or slow cooker and can be served hot or cold.

two copper mule cups of spiced apple cider against a red plaid napkin

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I love sipping hot apple cider when the weather turns cool. It’s so cozy and relaxing, not to mention it makes your house smell amazing while it’s simmering on the stove. I decided to revamp my favorite mulled cider recipe into something a little more festive. Nothing is more festive than bright red cranberries during the holidays, right?

Cranberries aren’t just for sauce anymore. They add a subtle tartness to the sweet spiced cider and a gorgeous pop of color to every cup.

How to Make Cranberry Spice Apple Cider

Start with one bottle of cranberry juice. Make sure it’s actual cranberry juice and not cranberry juice cocktail. In a large stock pot, combine the cranberry juice with six cups of apple cider and two cans of thawed orange juice concentrate.

cranberry apple cider ingredients

Next, we’re going to add some fruit and spices, including one whole orange cut into rings, four cinnamon stick that measure about three inches long (although it’s not a big deal if they measure a little longer or shorter), two teaspoons of whole cloves and one teaspoon of ground allspice. If you don’t want to fish cloves out of your drink later, you might want to consider using a spice ball or wrapping the cloves in a bit of cheesecloth tied with kitchen twine.

overhead shot of the apple cider ingredients in a large stock pot.

Bring the pot to a boil over medium high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot and simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to one hour. Remove and discard the orange slices, cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Spiced cranberry apple cider can be served hot or cold. I like to garnish the glasses with fresh apple slices and whole fresh cranberries. For hard apple cider, add a few ounces of bourbon or spiced rum to each cup before serving.

Can this apple cider recipe be made in the slow cooker?

It absolutely can! Simply combine all the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on low for two hours. Remove and discard the orange slices and spices before serving.

How to store leftover apple cider

This apple cider recipe serves a crowd. However, if it’s just the two of you, leftover spiced apple cider can be store in the refrigerator or freezer. First, pour any leftover cider into a container with a lid. Quart Mason jars or these plastic quart jars work great! The cider can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. The cider can be reheated in the microwave in a microwave-safe dish or in a saucepan on the stove top.

To freeze, place leftover cider in a freezer-safe container with a lid (no glass!). Be sure to leave some room at the top for the liquid to expand as it freezes. Alternately, you can pour cooled cider into a gallon sized zippered plastic freezer bag. Fill the bag about halfway, carefully fold down the top to remove any excess air, then seal the bag. Lay the bag on a flat surface in the freezer until frozen solid. Allow the cider to thaw before reheating.

over heat shot of a glass of apple cider garnished with apples, cranberries and orange slices

More holiday beverage recipe ideas:

over heat shot of a glass of apple cider garnished with apples, cranberries and orange slices
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4 from 1 vote

Cranberry Spiced Apple Cider

Course Beverages
Cuisine American
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 165kcal
Author Lisa B.


  • 1 bottle 64 ounces cranberry juice
  • 6 cups apple cider
  • 2 cans 12 ounces each frozen orange concentrate, thawed
  • 1 medium orange cut into slices
  • 4 cinnamon sticks 3 inches
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Whole cranberries for garnish optional


  • In a large stockpot, combine cranberry juice, apple cider, orange juice concentrate and oranges.
  • Place cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice inside the pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, on for 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Strain and discard the orange slices, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves before serving.
  • Serve hot or cold.


Slow cooker instructions: Add all ingredients to a six-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for two hours. Strain and discard orange slices and spices before serving. 
Leftover apple cider can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. It can be frozen for up to three months.


Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Sodium: 25mg | Sugar: 1g

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