• Prep Time -
  • Cook Time -
  • Serving For 8-10 people
  • Difficulty Normal

Recipe Description

There’s an undeniable magic in sipping a piping hot drink on a cold day, especially when it’s infused with the aromatic symphony of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice—a fragrant overture to the festive season. Now, despite the year-end monsoon lending a cool breeze, it’s not exactly winter wonderland temperature here in the tropics, making hot buttered cider a rarity. Not surprisingly, this tradition never quite took root in our warm embrace, in stark contrast to the US, where I studied.

Cue a flashback to a Christmas party many years ago, I introduced hot buttered cider. The floating pomander piqued curiosity, albeit with a side of caution. Before long, the cautious sippers succumbed, and by night’s end, the once-overflowing bowl had vanished. For this enchanted elixir, I’ve blended fresh apples with bottled juice for that rustic, unfiltered charm without the laborious affair of squeezing apple juice. The concoction can be prepared in advance and brought to a boil just before showtime.

A warm welcome is ensured with the chafing bowl, or get inventive with a makeshift version—stainless steel, tealights, but keep it steady to avoid tipping over. Glass and ceramics are a no-go unless they’re fireproof, so play it safe. Now, onto the star of the show—the spiced batter. Keep it cool in a butter dish nestled in an ice bath. Grab a slice without the gooey meltdown. And arm your guests with cinnamon swizzle sticks for a stirring good time as they mingle.

And for those keen on elevating the merriment, toss in a bottle of rum, orange liqueur, or your favourite spirit to kick that holiday cheer up a notch. In this tale of warmth, spice, and spirited sips, let the aromatic adventure transport you to a place where each sip is a celebration—a toast to the joyous fusion of flavours and the season’s festive spirit.


Recipe Ingredient

  • Cider
  • 7 apples
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 litres pre-packaged apple juice
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • Spiced Batter
  • 400g brown sugar
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • Garnish
  • 1 red apple
  • 24 whole cloves
  • orange and lemon slices
  • cinnamon sticks
  • a splash of rum, optional


  1. Whisk the batter ingredients together until light and fluffy. Place on parchment paper and roll into two 2-cm logs.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for about 6 hours until firm, or in the freezer for 1 hour. Slice with a sharp knife into ½-cm thick discs and set aside in the chiller until ready to serve.
  3. Blend apples with salt into a puree and filter with a tea sock.
  4. With a potato peeler, peel the skin from orange and lemon into long strips, then extract the juice from the citrus fruits.
  5. Place citrus peelings into a pot together with cinnamon and all the juices, then bring to a boil. Pour the hot cider into a chafing bowl over a tealight to keep warm.
  6. To garnish, stick cloves into the apple to make a pomander and float it in the hot cider together with orange and lemon slices.
  7. To serve, ladle the hot cider into small mugs, place a slice of spiced batter and allow it to slowly melt while stirring with a cinnamon stick. If desired, add a splash of rum for the festive cheer.

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