Vanilla and Bourbon Mulled Cider Is the Coziest Winter Cocktail

Here’s a mulled cider recipe that I can’t resist when the days are short and the weather is brisk.

It’s got a warm, heady, slightly spicy profile thanks to a unique blend of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and coriander (with a touch of vanilla bean for an added layer of sweetness).

You don’t have to put bourbon in this, but if you’re camping, tailgating, or enjoying a crackling fire at home (or in a cozy cabin), it’s exactly what you need. (Rum or cognac works, too.)


1 quart apple cider 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks 4 cardamom pods, bruised 4 cloves 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds 1 vanilla bean, split 1/2 cup bourbon (optional)


Add the cider and all of the spices to a small saucepan over medium heat.


Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and steep for at least 30 minutes on low to let the flavors develop.


Stir in the bourbon (if using) before serving.

Double the recipe and it becomes a great party punch for cold nights, or bookmark it for when you need a fun new idea for a winter potluck. This is also the kind of “liquid layer” I love to bring along when my family heads into the forest to cut down a Christmas tree.

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