Spiked Holiday Cider

Cider in a mug with star decorations and cranberries

5 from 1 reviews

Get in the holiday spirit with this Spiked Holiday Cider! This easy cocktail recipe uses Fall and Winter fruit, like apples, pears, and persimmons, then is naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and topped off with brandy. This boozy cider is the ultimate festive holiday cocktail, perfect for your holiday party.



  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 bartlett pear
  • 1 fuyu persimmon
  • 2 apples
  • 1 small navel orange (juiced and the peel removed)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 ounce of brandy per drink

Optional Drink Decorations:

  • Whole fresh cranberries
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Thin fruit slices cut into shapes with a small cookie cutter


  1. Add all spices to a medium/large pot and on medium heat, toast and stir spices for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
  2. Take pot off the heat and add chopped fruit and orange juice and peel, and maple syrup then fill the pot with water until the fruit is covered with about 2 inches of water. Cover the pot and set to medium-low heat and simmer for 3 hours.
  3. Once the holiday cider is ready, strain and discard the fruit and spices, and add more maple syrup to the cider if needed. Serve hot or cold.
  4. Top each mug with optional drink decorations and add 1 ounce of brandy before serving.


  • When preparing the orange, peel the orange using a vegetable peeler before cutting the orange in half and juicing. When removing the orange peeling, try to remove the least amount of orange's white inner peeling as possible - the white part is bitter!
  • The exact amount of cider varies depending on the amount of water you fill your pot, and the size of your serving mugs. Add more water and fruit if you are serving more people.
  • I used a honey brandy for this recipe (which was so delicious) but you can use any brandy you like.
  • The strained fruit from step 3 can be blended into an applesauce in a food processor instead of discarding. Just remember to remove the spices before pureeing!
  • Nutritional note: Because the recipe is strained at the end, getting an exact fiber, calorie, and carbohydrate count is difficult. The nutritionals provided are the closest estimate I can provide. The exact numbers would not be above what I provided, only lower than my estimate.


Keywords: Cider cocktail, Holiday cocktail