Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Hot Apple Cider

Whether or not you add bourbon is up to you
49 Ratings
100% would make again
How to Make Butternut Squash Hot Apple Cider in a Slow Cooker Recipe
Photo: Alice Gao

In her new book A Woman's Drink, Natalka Burian more than delivers on her promise of "bold drinks for bold woman," especially with this easy-as-can-be punch recipe. You don't have to be a woman or a bold person to enjoy it—timid men, drink away—but either way, the use of a slow cooker here is a genius way of freeing up precious burner real estate during a holiday cooking marathon. Whether or not you choose to add bourbon, it's the perfect way to ease into (or take the edge off of) a family gathering.

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Hot Apple Cider

Reprinted from A Woman’s Drink by Natalka Burian with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 4 to 8 hours, inactive

Total Time: 4 to 8 hours, inactive


For the Cider:

4 allspice berries

1½ teaspoon whole cloves

4 whole star anise

6 to 8 cardamom pods

8 cups organic apple cider

One 15-ounce can organic butternut squash puree

For the Optional Garnish:

10 cinnamon sticks, plus 6 for serving

6 dried orange slices

Bourbon for serving


1. In a small bowl, combine the allspice, cloves, star anise, and cardamom. Transfer the mixture to a spice or tea ball infuser if you have one—or just a coffee filter and some kitchen twine.

2. Pour the cider into the slow cooker and add the butternut squash puree.

3. Whisk or stir until combined, then add the spices. Put the cinnamon and orange slices into the mixture directly.

4. Set the slow cooker to low for 4 to 8 hours, depending on how long you want to enjoy it. Give it at least 3 hours on low before you serve. If you’re preparing this on the stove top, simmer for 30 minutes over low heat.

5. Ladle out the cider into 8-ounce mugs, and garnish each one with a fresh cinnamon stick. Serve to the nondrinking family members as is, but feel free to add bourbon where required.

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