Who doesn’t love hot spiced apple cider on a cold winter day? Even better when it’s got a lil kick! To save you from unneeded sugar calories and the hangover they deliver the next morning, try our Spiked Hot Apple Cider.

Unlike traditional recipes, we’ll start with 100% cider (no added sugar) and we’ll avoid adding brown sugar too. To minimize some of the naturally occurring fructose sugar in the apple cider, we’ll add some additional water. Don’t worry! The spices and citrus zest and juice will provide more than enough flavor! & I’ll even add a little stevia in at the end if you want it a lil sweeter. While hot cider is typically “spiked” with dark rum or whiskey, I use a premium grade gluten free vodka in this recipe for 2 major reasons:

  1. Vodka disappears a lil more easily, so we can increase the alcohol per drink. This trick leaves less room for sugar and decreases the number of drinks needed to achieve a warm buzz. Overall, you consume less calories. Our F&F Cider has four times more alcohol than Emeril’s sugary sauce, yet per cup has 62 fewer calories and 38 grams less sugar!
  2. Darker spirits always conceal more of the impurities that cause hangovers. The additional distillations that premium vodka receives removes many of them.


As always, please use organic ingredients for YOUR health!
2 quarts 100% Apple Cider
3 cups water
8 cinnamon sticks (each about 6″ long)
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 orange
2 lemons
16 whole cloves
4 cups gluten free vodka (Try Ciroc made from grapes or Chopin made from potatoes)
1/2 – 1 tsp pure stevia extract powder

Place apple cider, water, cinnamon sticks and optional cayenne in large soup pot and cover with lid. Over medium heat raise temperature to almost a boil, then reduce to low simmer.

Zest orange and lemons on to a plate. Remove and discard remaining skin and pith. Stud fruits with cloves then place into cider pot gently, so as not to splash. Add 3/4 of the zest to the pot, reserving 1/4 for garnish. Simmer for at least 30 minutes to allow spices to marinate. Then use slotted spoon to fish out orange. Press second large spoon to gently press remaining juice from fruit into pot, then discard. Repeat with lemons. Stir in vodka. Taste and add optional stevia until you achieve desired level of sweetness.

Ladle into mugs and garnish with reserved zest and one of the cinnamon sticks from the cider pot. Enjoy! Makes about 12 servings.



Emeril Lagasse’s Hot Apple Cider with Rum    271 calories, 59g carbs, 56g sugar

F&F Hot Spike Apple Cider    209 calories, 21g carbs, 18g sugar