Spiced Apple Cider

Photographer: Kurt
Serves many

It might officially be spring, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a chill in the air down here in Dunedin. So enjoy the longer spring nights tucked up indoors with a glass of this hot spiced apple cider to warm you up from the inside out.

This is a twist on the classic warming winter drink, mulled wine. The use of cider gives it a lighter, fresher taste, while the cardamom and vanilla add a beautiful fragrant flavour. The addition of whiskey balances the sweetness of the apple nicely, and gives it just a little bit of kick.


1 litre apple cider
4 cinnamon quills
½ tsp cardamom seeds
1 vanilla bean
60mls Vanilla syrup, to sweeten
120mls whiskey
½ a small apple, finely sliced


1. In a mortar and pestle grind the cardamom seeds to a fine powder.
2. Slice the vanilla bean along its length with the tip of a sharp knife. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the seeds from inside.
3. In a medium size saucepan add apple cider, cinnamon quills, ground cardamom, and the vanilla bean and seeds.
4. Cook over a medium heat until cider just begins to simmer, then reduce to a low heat and cook for a further 15-20mins. Cooking on a low heat allows the mixture to warm and the spices to infuse. Be careful not to let the mixture come to a boil as this changes the flavour.
5. At the end of cooking add whiskey, sliced apple and vanilla syrup. The vanilla syrup adds sweetness, so more or less can be used depending on preference.
6. Serve in a heatproof mug, using the sliced apple and cinnamon quills to garnish.