This Spiked Crockpot 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!
Spiked Crockpot Apple Cider
Normally, I don’t waste my calories on sugary drinks or cocktails.
- I just don’t really enjoy the taste of a high-sugar drink, most likely derived from my lack of a sweet tooth.
- There are plenty of cocktails out there I adore which 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.
Today’s Spiked Crockpot Apple Cider is PERFECT for chilly fall nights, and so perfect for entertaining. Store-bought apple cider is mixed with cloves, cinnamon sticks, and lots of citrus, and then topped off with your favorite whiskey or bourbon.
Put everything in the crockpot a few hours before your guests arrive, and it’s ready to go when they get there!
Ingredients in Spiked Crockpot Apple Cider
Apple cider. You don’t need anything special here. Because we are flavoring the apple cider, any inexpensive off-brand apple cider will work great.
Spices. Whole cloves, cinnamon sticks and star anise are my chosen spices. If you’ve never had star anise, you’re in for a treat. It has a slightly sweet, very subtle licorice flavor I adore.
Citrus. I love a little bit of citrus in my crockpot apple cider, we use lemons and oranges.
Bourbon whiskey. Use your favorite bourbon or whiskey. Enough said.
As you can see, there’s not much to it! But just a few key spices and some citrus make a world of difference in store-bought apple cider. And obviously bourbon is just what you need to warm you from the inside out in the cold winter months!
How to make Spiked Crockpot Apple Cider
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.
Does it matter what kind of whiskey you use?
In short, yes. But not really. So use common sense here, use a good whiskey or bourbon. We love bullet bourbon around here!
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- If you don’t like whiskey, swap it out for rum or vodka
- A splash of apple brandy would be a great addition, as would a splash of grand mariner.
- Throw in your favorite fall spices! Nutmeg would also work great!
- Serve with mason jars and sliced fruit for a super cute presentation.
- 1 gallon apple cider
- 2 cinnamon stics
- 4 star anise
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp whole cloves
- 2 oranges, sliced plus more for garnish
- 2 lemons, sliced plus more for garnish
- 1 liter good whiskey or bourbon
- Crock pot
- Add apple cider, cinnamon stocks, star anise, whole cloves, oranges, and lemons to the crockpot. Turn the heat on low and cook for 6-7 hours.
- Take out all of the whole spices, oranges and lemons before serving. Pour in bourbon. Stir and serve. Garnish with sliced orange and lemon.