Slow-Cooker Apple Cider Sparklers

Let the slow cooker be your punchbowl for this fun and festive recipe, perfect for a large holiday gathering.

  • Prep Time 10 min
  • Total Time 3 hr 10 min
  • Servings 12


quart (4 cups) apple cider
cinnamon sticks (3 inch)
whole cloves
piece (1 inch) gingerroot, peeled
teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Grated peel of 2 lemons
tablespoons lemon juice
Grated peel of 1 orange
tablespoons orange juice
vanilla bean, split, seeded
cup packed brown sugar
bottle (750 ml) sparkling white wine or champagne
Orange, lemon and apple slices, if desired

  • 1 Pour cider into 3-quart slow cooker. Add cinnamon sticks, cloves, gingerroot, nutmeg, lemon peel, lemon juice, orange peel, orange juice, vanilla bean and brown sugar; mix well.
  • 2 Cover; cook on Low heat setting 3 hours.
  • 3 Remove cinnamon sticks, cloves, gingerroot and vanilla bean before serving. Keep cider warm in slow cooker, or transfer to heatproof pitcher if serving immediately.
  • 4 Ladle or pour cider into mugs, filling halfway; fill rest of mug with wine. Garnish with orange, lemon and apple slices.

Expert Tips

For a family-friendly cider, substitute club soda or sparkling water for the wine or champagne.

Don’t have a slow cooker? You can cook this on the stove instead; just simmer over low heat.

To make it easy to remove the spices, tie them in a double thickness of cheesecloth or paper coffee filter before adding to the cider.