This is one of my favorite recipes from my mom. It’s warming, sweet, deliciously spiced, and has a bit of butter that really brings it all together and coats your throat for the ultimate cold-weather beverage. This recipe is super simple, and whenever my mother used to make it people would act like she spent hours slaving over it (which is not the case).
Any newcomers that need catching up, P.S. Love Mom is a series here on the blog about recipes that my mom made during my childhood that have really stuck with me and that I share on a bi-weekly basis with all you lovelies!
This recipe certainly packs a punch. You won’t have to search for any flavor here (which I guess is true for most fall drinks). The spices and apple practically hit you over the head with their lovely blend of flavors, and it is a sweet drink (no mistaking that). You could use an apple juice with less sugar if you aren’t much of a sweet tooth, or add a splash of lemon to tone it down a bit, but I love it filled with all its sugar and spice. Since this drink is so strong, it is also great to add alcohol too.
Until I took pictures for this recipe, I hadn’t had my mother’s apple cider in a few years. As soon as she started talking about it, all the amazing memories I had with it came flooding back. She would make this on the first snow of the year. I remember when I was in elementary and got the day off school my sister and I would go sledding with the other kids in the neighborhood, and when we would come home the second we got through the front door it smelled fantastic. Before we could even get our snowboots off, my mother had already poured us a cup. She was and still is the absolute best.
Now, for some this may seem more like a Christmas drink instead of a fall drink, but my mother used to make it every year on Halloween, so it really is a Halloween drink for me. I wanted to release this recipe early enough for you guys to make it on Halloween and pick up the tradition too.
When getting the recipe from my mom, she shared with me some of her memories. She has been making the recipe for over 22 years! She also told me that she wanted us to have something to look forward to and remember for snow days and Halloween, and it was sort of this unspoken tradition. My mom has a habit of going above and beyond for us, and I never really realized how much she did it (kids are buttheads sometimes aren’t they?).
She also told me I had to tell you guys that this is the best smell you can christen your house with. She said to screw (okay, maybe not so nicely) potpourri or wax melts, that this stuff is where it’s at. She strongly recommends making it at Holiday/Fall parties and get-togethers because it’ll be an instant hit and it will make the whole place smell great.
To be honest with you, my mom did a great job making this cider such a good part of our childhood because when I made it to take pictures for this post, I almost cried. It’s just that one thing that will always stick with me and remind me of her.
Recipe Ingredients and Recommendations
With only three ingredients, this recipe is hard to mess up but to make sure you’re making it the best it can be here are our recommendations.
Get an apple juice that is cloudy/pressed and 100% apple juice. This is really the foundation of the whole thing, so get something nice. However, if you can’t afford it, my mom said she use to get whatever was on sale and was cheap but always got 100% apple juice. Cloudy apple juice will make this recipe seem fancier, have a better mouth-feel and overall better flavor.
Aspen Mulling Spice
Now, this is arguably the most important ingredient. My mom says you have to use this mulling spice blend because it’s the same one she’s been using for all 22 years. Here is a store locator to try and find a store near you that carries it. Also, you can buy it online directly from them, and I’ve seen it sold in bulk on Amazon. You may find it at Hallmark and other touristy stores/boutiques/specialty shops. Remember to get the original flavor as they have many variations/products.
Now, this recipe has butter, gasp. Don’t be going around replacing it with margarine, coconut oil, or some other weird oil equivalent. As my mother says, “butter ain’t gonna hurt you,” especially if it’s just this once. So please use real butter and make this recipe right 🙂 .
The butter should also be salted this helps to make the drink seem less sweet, balances out the spices, and really brings the whole thing together. If you don’t have salted butter, add a pinch or two of salt to get the same effect.
For an adult take on the drink, add in bourbon, rum, or even vodka. This drink is really strong and pretty sweet, so it covers up almost all the alcohol taste.
The Perfect Apple Cider -- A Passed Down Recipe
Sweet apples meet classic fall spices and are all blended with a bit of butter for a truly soul-warming and delicious drink.
This recipe was written by my mother.
Read directly above for ingredient recommendations and how to find the mulling spice.
- 2 quarts apple juice (try to get something cloudy/pressed and 100% apple juice)
- 5 tablespoons (or 80 grams or half a carton of) Aspen Spices Original Mulling Spice Blend
- 1/3 cup salted butter (if you only have unsalted, add a pinch or two of kosher salt)
- Cinnamon stick and apple slices for garnish (optional)
Directions1. Make the base. In a crockpot, pour in all the apple juice (keep the bottle) and half a container of the mulling spice blend. Let the crockpot cook on high for 1 hour (if it starts to boil like crazy, turn it to low). Halfway through the hour-long cook time, give it a stir and taste for spices, if you want more of a spice kick add up to another tablespoon more of mulling spice blend.
(If you don’t have a crockpot bring the apple juice and spice blend to a boil on the stove and then turn down and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Follow all other directions normally).
2. Add in butter. Once your apple cider has cooked for an hour, turn down to low. Cut your butter into small cubes and begin dropping the cubes into the apple cider while the crockpot is still on low. Whisk thoroughly as you add the butter cubes and until they are fully melted. This semi emulsifies the butter and creates a wonderful butter top (kinda like the foam on a latte but not bubbly). You can leave this on low or warm to keep it hot during festivities.
3. Serve and enjoy! When serving, be sure to give the cider a good stir before each glass. Feel free to garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice, but you don’t have to!
4. Storing: Ladle any leftovers into the reserved apple juice bottle for easy storage. Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Give the bottle a good shake to reincorporate the butter before pouring and reheating on the stove or in the microwave.
That’s it! A super simple recipe for super yummy apple cider! Let me know in the comments below one of your favorite fall memories and/or something you’re looking forward to as the fall season begins!
If you’re interested in catching up on other posts in this series, here are a few:
As always, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read the post. I hope you have a wonderful week!