‘Tis the Season to Make Your Own Spiced Cider

Photo courtesy of Camille Styles

Photo courtesy of Camille Styles

The Edible Long Island holiday issue has been out for about two weeks now, so we’ll assume you already read our article on how to make hard cider at home. In case you missed it, here’s a quick summary: it’s relatively simple, not very time consuming and tastes delicious.

Though basic apple cider is one of our favorites, for this time of year we like to add a little spice. Plus if you start brewing now, it should be ready just in time for Christmas. Here’s our recipe for spiced cider.

Spiced Cider


5 gallons apple cider
1 package Danstar Belle Saison Yeast
5 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
2 tablespoons allspice
1 tablespoon clove


First, you need to get your apple cider. We usually head to Richter’s Orchard in Northport with our sanitized fermentation bucket ready to go. They will fill it for you, just give them a call before you head out. If you’d prefer to pick it up from the supermarket, look for one with no preservatives.

If you haven’t already, sanitize your fermentation bucket (we like to use Star San) and add fill it with your cider.

Next, rehydrate your yeast based on the package instructions and add it to the cider.

Seal your fermentation bucket with an airlock and ferment at around 65-70 degrees for about three days. Then, move to a warmer temperature if possible.

Let it ferment until activity in the airlock dies down (you’ll see a ton of bubbles in the airlock at first). This should take around two weeks.

Next, transfer your cider into a second clean fermentation bucket using a racking cane. Be careful not to disturb any yeast that has settled to the bottom—the point of this step is to get your cider off the yeast.

Boil your spices along with a little water in order to sanitize them. Then, add to a muslin bag and drop it into your secondary fermentation bucket.

Again, ferment your cider at around 65-70 degrees until the airlock activity stops. This should take about a week and a half.

Lastly, transfer your cider to either a keg or bottles. If you are not familiar with this process, we recommend checking out some of the guides on Northern Brewer. We consult their priming sugar calculator every single time we are either kegging or bottling a creation.

And there you have it. Homebrewed spiced apple cider that can be shared with family around the holidays—or take some of that last minute shopping edge off.