Hot Cranberry Cider

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


This hot cranberry cider recipe has sweet orange & subtle licorice flavors. It’s the perfect drink for the holidays.


  • 1 medium-sized orange
  • 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds, crushed a bit in a mortar and pestle or with the side of a big knife
  • 4 cups of cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces of orange liqueur (optional)


  1. Remove 6 big strips of orange zest from the orange (space them out if you’d like so that the orange slices you cut later have a zebra-like orange and white trim). Put them in a medium saucepan with the crushed up fennel seeds and the cranberry juice. Partially cover the pan and bring the juice to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and let the cranberry juice infuse for 20 minutes. taste the juice. If you can’t detect much of the fennel, let it simmer on low for another 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the orange.
  3. Line a sieve with a coffee filter or a double layer of cheesecloth. Put the sieve over a medium sized bowl. Pour the hot cranberry juice through the sieve and into the bowl.
  4. Rinse out the saucepan and pour the warmed juice back in. Cook over medium heat until it simmers. Drizzle in the orange liqueur My preference is Cointreau, but you could also use Triple Sec or Grand Marnier. Stir.
  5. Ladle into 4 mugs and garnish with the orange slices.