&Cider | Hot Spiced Cider

Willie Smith's Hot Spiced Cider

The following article was originally published in Issue 11 of inCiderJapan magazine.

Hot spiced cider, also known as hot mulled cider, is a traditional winter drink whose roots can be traced all the way back to the ancient pagan rite of “Wassailing”. The word “wassail” comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase “waes hael”, meaning “good health”. The wassail was a drink made of spiced ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar.

Most spiced cider these days is made by heating apple cider with various spices added, including citrus orange, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. It’s a perfect drink to keep you warm on those chilly winter days and nights

Our recipe is courtesy of Willie Smith’s Cider Makers from Tasmania, Australia who have graciously given us permission to publish it here. It’s surprisingly easy to make and we guarantee you’ll love how it makes you feel


2 cardamom pods
1.5 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1 whole star anise
1 whole allspice berry
1 slice of ginger, peeled
1 tbsp brown sugar
4 (355ml cans) Willie Smith’s Organic Cider


  1. Add your cider to a large saucepan and heat over medium temperature until heated through, you don’t want it to boil.
  2. Add spices and fresh ginger. Stir in the brown sugar, tweak the quantity to your taste.
  3. Serve after the spices have been in for 30 minutes. If there’s some leftover keep it in the fridge, it’ll happily be reheated. When it comes time to serve again, just add a little extra fresh ginger and cider to freshen it up. Or if you’d like to make less, just halve or quarter the spices, sugar, and of course cider.

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