Bring the Party to Your Holiday Get-Together with Spiked Caramel Cider

Since you no longer sit at the kiddy table during Thanksgiving, you can't just show up empty handed. Avoid the difficult (baking!) and the stale (more casseroles!) and spice things up with a delicious alcoholic beverage this year.

The holiday's are a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand you get to see all the friends and family members you've missed throughout the year and enjoy a massive feast. On the other hand, you have to see all the friends and family members you've avoided throughout the year and be stuck there for at least two hours.

Whether or not you're looking forward to the event, you've got to play nice and bring something to the table other than your sparkling conversation and firm handshake. Selecting the appropriate dish can be troubling – obviously you're not providing the turkey (unless you're the host). Odds are someone else has already called dibs on the ol' stalwarts like green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, and any other casserole you can think of. Sure you could bring more rolls (they're delicious) or some beer, but that's phoning in it.

No, if you want to show up with somethings special and unique without having to expose the flaws in your baking ability (it's like chemistry levels of hard for some men to make a fantastic pie) you're going to have to think a little harder. Or just keep reading as we recommend that you take a jug (or pot) of homemade caramel apple cider – spiked with rum, of course! What says fall and family more than apple cider and booze to get you through the evening?

Here is what you'll need to make enough for all the adults in the room to have a glass (about 16 servings)

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 9 cups apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups light rum

Optional: Cinnamon sticks, Orange spice Tea bag

First, in a large pot (you're going to have about 16 cups worth of liquid here, so it needs to be big enough to hold it all), add the heavy cream and the brown sugar. Stir them together over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. This creates the sweet, caramel flavor.

Slowly add the water and stir it in. Then pour in your apple cider and stir, stir, stir some more. Leave it on the heat until it comes to about serving temperature (hot, but not boiling). Then pour in your four cups of light rum. This brings the temperature back down, so you're going to want to heat it up again. If you want to spice it up a little bit more, add the cinnamon sticks and orange spice tea bag when you add the cider and remove them after warming up the alcohol.

From here, you can serve it right up (if you made it there) or transfer it into a serving container to take with you. You can serve it cool if you'd like, but I'd recommend bringing the pot, or a kettle, or some other way to bring the cider back up to a hot temperature. This is a better fall drink and will keep the drink from separating – sometimes the sugar can settle out to the bottom of the jug.

So there you have it. A fast, simple, easy recipe for you to impress your friends and family with. Forget the stuffing and extra cranberry sauce – everyone is looking for a way to maturely have a glass of alcohol and you'll be their hero by serving it up in such a classy manner.

Robert Fure is a fitness, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in Los Angeles. He is also a certified Personal Trainer and the Creator/Editor of Fit and Furious, an online outlet dedicated to the pursuit of a fit lifestyle. His entertainment work can be viewed at Film School Rejects.


  • Reply November 28, 2010


    Made this for my thanksgiving and was a major hit! Awesome!

  • Reply November 28, 2010


    Chris, that’s awesome!!! I’m glad it went over well.

  • Reply December 2, 2010

    Len L

    Excellent recipe….however,

    I must reiterate the directions to SLOWLY add the water into the Boiling Cream/Brown Sugar mix….if you add it quickly it curdles the cream….doesn’t taste as good that way…..

  • Reply December 20, 2010


    I’ll be making this cider this weekend, sounds delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply December 28, 2010

    John S.

    I made this for 4 or 5 parties that I went to this season. It is awesome.

    Seriously watch the temp on the carmel, especially when you are adding in the water. It’s pretty easy to curdle the cream. I did it once.

    Choose a spiced apple cider and a spiced rum (I chose Sailor Jerry Rum) over regular cider and light rum. It adds a little more flavor and makes it a bit smoother in my opinion.

  • Reply December 28, 2010

    John S.

    Oh, and it was a hit at all of the parties! Not much (if any) left at the end of the night!

  • Reply December 29, 2010


    John, That’s great! So glad you found it useful and that people liked it. Did you make it before, or when you got to the party?

  • Reply January 2, 2011

    John S.

    Andrew, I made it at all of the parties. It’s quick enough to not be a lot of trouble.

    Plus, you get people asking you what your making. It’s a good conversation starter and makes you look kinda cool.

    • Reply January 3, 2011


      John, that’s awesome! Glad it people liked it.

  • Reply December 17, 2011


    Has anyone tried making this with bourbon instead?

  • Reply November 22, 2012


    I guess this means American ‘cider’, which is non-alcoholic? I don’t really know if that exists in the UK, we mainly have alcoholic cider in bottles and on the tap in pubs. Would you be able to describe your cider so that I can try to find something like it to make this with, it sounds good! Is it basically fresh, cloudy apple juice? Or is it non-cloudy… Thanks!

    • Reply November 22, 2012

      Travis Brown

      A lot of cider served in the states is non-alcoholic. And can be served cold as just a cloudy-apple juice that has a stronger apple taste versus regular apple juice. Or severed warm/hot with cinnamon and other spices, this tastes more like hot apple juice with cinnamon has a very comforting taste for this time of the year.

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