Easy Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider Recipe

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This hot spiced cranberry cider recipe is a nice change from apple cider. The vibrant red color makes it the perfect choice for holiday entertaining. I’ve been making this for a few years and have no idea where the original recipe came from. I’ve modified it a bit over the years to reduce the sugar content. This isn’t super sweet so you can taste the cranberry and the cinnamon more than the sugar.

Easy hot spiced cranberry cider recipe

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Easy Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider Recipe

If you prefer your beverages sweeter, you can increase the amount of brown sugar. You can also try using honey, stevia, agave or maple syrup in place of the sugar. I find that the brown sugar is the perfect combination for the cinnamon and apple cider in this recipe. This recipe makes enough for about six glasses so if you’ll be having company, make sure to double the recipe.

This is such a delicious hot drink to enjoy with friends and family over the holiday season. We love it with a piece of homemade bread and some cranberry butter while we sit around the woodstove.

For more Thanksgiving and fall recipes and crafts, visit a few of my favorite bloggers:

Easy hot spiced cranberry cider recipe

Yields 6

Easy Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider Recipe

5 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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  • 4 cups of real apple cider
  • 2 cups of cranberry juice (not cocktail)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star of anise
  • 1 lemon or orange
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries


  1. Put the apple cider, cranberry juice and brown sugar in a pot.
  2. Add the cloves, cinnamon sticks and star of anise wrapped in cheesecloth or in a muslin bag.
  3. Add the cranberries to the pot.
  4. Bring a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the spices.
  6. Pour into glasses making sure that the cranberries are evenly divide.
  7. Slice the lemon or orange and add one slice to each cup.
  8. Serve

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14 thoughts on “Easy Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider Recipe”

  1. I've never had cranberry cider before. Sounds delicious. Love your recommendation of "real apple cider," I always recommend getting it from a farmer's market if possible. I'm really picky about my apple cider, I want to know it comes from good apples. No bad apples here, lol!
  2. This looks delicious. I love hot apple cider but never thought about making cranberry cider. I will definitely have to try this.
  3. I've never used real star of anise before--just anise extract for flavorings. I love cinnamon and cloves in many fall dishes, even sprinkle it over potatoes. I can imagine the sugar content before you reduced it. Some cider recipes are so sweet I can't drink it.

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