This semi-homemade slow cooker spiked spiced apple cider uses store-bought apple cider infused with cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and citrus. Right before serving, it’s topped off with your favorite whisky or bourbon for the perfect comforting fall cocktail!
Normally, I don’t waste my calories on sugary drinks or cocktails. For one, I just don’t really enjoy the taste of a high-sugar drink, most likely derived from my lack of a sweet tooth (which has been reinstated since I stopped nursing.) And two, there are plenty of cocktails out there I adore that aren’t attached to a 700-calorie, 29-grams-of-sugar nutritional makeup – I’ll stick with my standard glass of red, champs, or hoppy beer thankyouverymuch.
However, when the fall chill in the air starts to transition to a colder, winter-like feel, all I want to do is start a fire and curl up with a giant class of hot apple cider.
We’re lucky enough to have a local cider mill that produces a pretty taste cider with the perfect level of sweetness for me, and every year, we pick up a gallon and swap it out for dessert on chilly fall nights. This year, we’ve had approximately one day cold enough to justify breaking the cider out from behind the pumpkin spice creamer and homemade blackberry butter in the fridge, so of course, this means it’s just been sitting there, begging to be drank for weeks.
We finally had a chilly night three days prior to leaving town that happened to coincide with a party I was throwing, so I thought the perfect way to use up the cider would be to transform it into a spiked cocktail for all of my guests to enjoy.
You could, of course, simply heat up a cup of cider and add your favorite libation to it, but I wanted to infuse a few more spices into the cider and knew the perfect way to do that, while simultaneously perfuming my house with the smells of fall, was with the slow-cooker.
I always like to have whole spices on hand to infuse different foods, and for this particular recipe, I threw in a few cinnamon sticks, a small handful of star anise, and whole cloves. I also wanted to add a hint of citrus, so I sliced up a couple of navel oranges and lemons, and threw them into the mix as well. The slow cooker gets set to low, and the cider infuses for a solid five to six hours.
At the last minute, a whole liter of whiskey is thrown in and this perfect fall cocktail is ready for consumption.
- 1 gallon apple cider
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 star anise
- 4 tsp. whole cloves
- 2 oranges, sliced (plus more for garnish)
- 2 lemons, sliced (plus more for garnish)
- 1 liter of good whiskey or bourbon
- Add apple cider, cinnamon sticks, star anise, whole cloves, oranges, and lemons in to the slow-cooker. Turn the heat on low and cook for 6-7 hours.
- Before serving, take out all of the whole spices, oranges and lemons. Pour whiskey or bourbon in. Stir and serve.