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  • Writer's pictureNikki Glekas

Spiked Apple Cider Cocktail

Sometimes we're not in the mood for a heavy hitting cocktail when we are hanging out at home. I don’t always want to get out our cocktail shaker, lots of ice, and specific liquors. This is where this Hot Apple Cider Cocktail comes into play. It’s really more of a spiked apple cider that’s warmed up with spices and flavors. You can adjust the amount of alcohol in it to suit your tastes, so it doesn’t have to be very strong at all. 

I like to add just enough rum and brandy to warm up the tips of my toes. Some of my friends like to add whipped cream, others prefer to drizzle in some fresh caramel sauce like it’s a drink from Starbucks. Either way, it’s a delicious treat to sip while you’re watching football or hanging out with friends around the firepit.

I typically purchase my cider at farmstands in the area. That is, I think, the best cider by far. However, if you can’t find a locally produced cider you can always find it at the grocery store. Most ciders are plain so you’ll need to add the spices on your own. I’m usually fairly generous with the spice flavors because it really makes the house smell incredible while it is warming on the stovetop. The purpose of this is to infuse the cider with flavors. I like to allow them to steep as much as possible for maximum effect.

This is a fun drink for the holiday season. Make it as strong, or weak, as you like. It’s nice and easy to pull together and can be enjoyed throughout a relaxed evening at home. Be sure to have plenty of whipped cream at the ready because that really sends this over the top.

Have a wonderful holiday season and winter months with your friends and family. I hope it is warm and cozy!

 Spiked Hot Apple Cider

We all love a good cup of hot apple cider! But, when the holidays come around, we like to make it a little more fun for the adults with a splash of brandy and rum!


  • 4 cups of apple cider

  • 4 cinnamon sticks

  • 4 whole cloves

  • 4 allspice berries

  • 1 orange, sliced

  • 1/4 cup of dark rum (adjust to taste)

  • 1/4 cup of brandy (adjust to taste)

  • Whipped cream (optional, for garnish)

  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional, for garnish)


1. In a large saucepan, pour in the apple cider and place it over medium heat. Warm the cider without bringing it to a boil. You want it to be hot but not scalding.

2. While the cider is warming, add the cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, allspice berries, and the slices of one orange into the saucepan. Stir gently.

3. Allow the cider to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. This simmering process will help infuse the flavors of the spices and citrus into the cider.

4. After simmering, reduce the heat to low. Add the dark rum and brandy. Stir well. Add honey to the cider, adjusting the amount to your desired level of sweetness. Stir until the honey is fully dissolved.

5. Remove the cider from heat and ladle it into mugs. You can use a strainer to catch the spices and orange slices if you prefer a smoother texture. Top each mug with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.

Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT.. To discuss further please contact or call 203.658.8659.

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