Food as Medicine

Anti-Inflammatory Cider Recipes for Cold Weather

TIMEDecember 21, 2021

Unlike filtered apple juices (likely a mix of many varieties of apples), fresh-pressed cider has terroir, flavors unique to the soil, climate, and varieties of apples grown in that particular region.

No matter what your local cider situation, any unfiltered apple cider will do for a sweet, hot refreshment. For the classic version, heat cider with whole cinnamon sticks and cloves, simmer for 10 minutes, and serve in mugs, garnished with cinnamon sticks. Or try one of these fresh twists on this traditional cold weather drink.

Chai-Spice Cider

This one packs extra flavor punch, plus offers a healthy kick from anti-inflammatory spices.

  • 4 cups fresh apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 slices (1/4-inch thick) peeled fresh ginger
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 plain black tea bags, optional

Combine cider and spices. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add 4 plain black tea bags during the last 3 minutes, if you like. Pour through a strainer into mugs.

Tart Cherry-Apple Cider

Tart cherry contains anti-inflammatory compounds helpful with muscle and joint pain. It also has a rich and delectable flavor!

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups tart cherry juice

Combine ciders. Heat just to a gentle boil, and serve.

Pear-Cardamom Cider

Cardamom is a predominant spice in chai but adds a wonderfully round taste to baked goods and drinks all on its own.

  • 4 cups pear juice
  • 8 to 10 whole cardamom pods

Combine juice and spices. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain pods from the liquid before serving.

Pomegranate-Ginger Cider

Ginger complements pomegranate’s strong, tart taste. Pomegranate juice has especially high levels of antioxidants due to the fruit’s rich pigment.

  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice (for tarter flavor, try 2 cups each)
  • 3 slices (1/4-inch thick) peeled fresh ginger

Combine cider, juice and spices. Gently simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove ginger and serve.

Warming Hot Pepper-Apple Cider

Bored with traditional winter spices? Try a little bone-warming cayenne pepper in the mixture. Cayenne contains compounds proven to relieve joint pain.

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne (or more, to taste)

Combine cider and spices. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, strain, and serve.

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Randy Boyer
Randy is the co-founder of and The Healthy Shopper. She has been working in the natural health industry for over 20 years. She is very passionate about healthy living by choosing natural and organic as much as possible, has a personal love of cooking and sharing healthy recipes and is a fitness enthusiast.