Hot Caramel Apple Cider

3 Posted by - October 14, 2013 - Food & Drink, Halloween & Autumn

I have to admit, caramel apple cider doesn’t get me that excited, guys. I mean, sure, it’s good, and it’s my fall beverage of choice at Starbucks (since pumpkin spice lattes give me caffeine tremors and diarrhea), but it really ain’t no thang.

Until you add vodka. Now you’re speaking my language.

It took me two tries to find caramel vodka because the liquor store was legit out of it– like sold out, people bought so much caramel vodka– and I had to go back a few days later to get it. (‘Tis the season for weird-flavored vodka, I guess? I didn’t know there was such high demand for caramel vodka, for real.)

But I did manage to eventually assemble all of the ingredients:

vodka cider ingredients

I had some inferior clear cider and also some of the good thick stuff, so I used half and half because, damn, I gotta use up the clear stuff somehow, right? Also, I was making a big batch of it because I had a bunch of girls coming over to watch Van Helsing with me, and that movie requires seasonal drinking. (You don’t even need a drinking game. It’s just so wonderfully terrible, the whole thing inspires drinking.)

All I did was heat it up:

heated cider

Between all of us, we managed to drink the entire pot. People went back for seconds, so it must have been pretty decent, even though I think they would have been too polite to tell me if it sucked really bad.

I liked it. You could tell it had vodka for sure, and the brown sugar didn’t quite dissolve (maybe because I was afraid of turning the heat up too high and burning off the vodka), but overall it was a satisfying experience.

Side note: Van Helsing is a pretty satisfying experience, too, especially if you like horrible scripts, awful acting, cheesy CGI, and Hugh Jackman. I like all of those things, so I was totally set.

Bonus? No errant chunks of unidentified mulling spices shit. (Oh, I’m talking about the cider again, not Van Helsing.)

This one gets the Pintester stamp of approval, but take that as you will, because Van Helsing also gets the Pintester stamp of approval, and it sucks pretty hard.


Hot Caramel Apple Cider
Article Name
Hot Caramel Apple Cider
The Pintester watches Van Helsing and tests out caramel apple cider with vodka in it. One of them ends up being better than the other.


  • Kiba October 14, 2013 - 3:31 pm Reply

    Truthfact: If you go to Starbucks and ask for a Pumpkin Spice Steamer, they’ll give you that syrup mixed with milk and no coffee. BOOM. Caffeine and diarrhea problems GONE. But tasty pumpkin spice flavor ACQUIRED.

    • Sunrea Linnae Clayborn October 14, 2013 - 11:51 pm Reply

      I wholeheartedly approve this message. 105% A+ comment right there. Steamers are coffee for people who hate coffee.

      Alternatively, most coffee places will also flavor hot chocolate for you!

      Coffee, steamers, and hot chocolate are really just vessels for delicious coffee flavoring, whether it be pumpkin spice, salted caramel, or just regular ol’ vanilla. All of the world’s problems have now been solved.

      • LN November 12, 2013 - 10:54 pm Reply

        Did anyone else notice the ad on this page for the “squatty potty”?!?! Cracked me up after reading these post about starbucks. And… it’s just a footstool!!!!

  • Chelsea October 14, 2013 - 3:31 pm Reply

    It took me three trips to Walmart in order to find caramel vodka… People kept buying TWO shelves worth. This is a yummy drink, but I agree you know that there’s vodka in it.

    • kittnen October 14, 2013 - 3:40 pm Reply

      I so wish I lived in a state where Walmart carries hard liquor.

      • Shila Gillotte October 14, 2013 - 4:36 pm Reply

        I know, right? It would sure make dealing with Walmart and Walmart-ers so much easier.

        • ThetaSigma October 15, 2013 - 11:12 am Reply

          I thought yes, and then I went, “okay, my Walmart has ENOUGH trouble with people not knowing things like boundaries and little kids shrieking and running around. Last thing I wanna add into that mix is hard alcohol, esp since a good tenth of those people are already drunk.” (But I’m lucky, because there are a lot of liquor stores and grocery stores that carry wine/beer/liquor around here, so maybe I should stfu)

  • kittnen October 14, 2013 - 3:39 pm Reply

    Another good fall Starbucks drink is the Hot Chocolate Chai. Om nom nom.

  • Ellysa October 14, 2013 - 4:14 pm Reply

    I am impressed that you went back for caramel vodka and didn’t sub for something else…

    • Ali October 14, 2013 - 11:16 pm Reply

      Yup, totally was expecting her to sub regular vodka and then add like caramel syrup for making sundaes or some other equally random caramel shit. Usually enjoy the subbing, but I must say the diligence when it comes to booze is inspiring.

  • Nichole Loraine October 14, 2013 - 4:34 pm Reply

    I made this a few days ago. But I added caramel syrup to cover the vodka flavor. And I didn’t add the vodka until I had it all heated up and mixed together because i was also afraid of burning off the alcohol. It was too sweet but still awesome.

  • molly October 14, 2013 - 4:36 pm Reply

    I am so impressed with your pintesting. When I made this drink, I heated the cider in the microwave, added the caramel vodka, then topped with whipped cream and spice. None of this heating everything on the stove stuff for me. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

  • Diana Williams October 14, 2013 - 5:13 pm Reply

    I just make it with warmed cider and add the vodka after heating the cider. No added sugar needed!

  • robynmorton October 14, 2013 - 5:16 pm Reply

    If you’re worried about burning off the vodka (totally valid concern), heat everything else first to get the sugar to dissolve, then add the vodka at the end. The heat of the liquid will probably warm the vodka right up, and leave all vital alcohol components intact.

  • Alayna October 14, 2013 - 5:27 pm Reply

    I am so happy that someone else watches that terrible movie at Halloween time too!! I thought I was the only one sadistic enough to do it! Hugh Jackman totally makes Van Helsing worth it. Plus, even with all its suckitude, it’s still a way better vampire movie than Twilight!

    • Sandi Boyd October 15, 2013 - 3:57 am Reply

      Well, in all fairness, the video I took of my twin daughters wearing glow in the dark vampire teeth is a way better vampire movie than Twilight. But it doesn’t have Hugh Jackman, though…so there ya go.

      • molly October 15, 2013 - 12:23 pm Reply

        You can edit him in later.

  • Kelly724 October 14, 2013 - 7:27 pm Reply

    There was this liquor store I used to go to and the owner just sat in the back and drank all day, so a lot of time she didn’t keep up with ordering. She also hired idiots that thought that white zinfandel was actually white, and would actually stare at the white wine for about 10 sold minutes looking for it.
    That idiot was me, by the way. The liquor store closed after being open less than a year. I wonder why.
    Anyway, maybe you went to a place like that.

    • Sandi Boyd October 15, 2013 - 3:54 am Reply

      This. Is. Awesome.

    • molly October 15, 2013 - 12:22 pm Reply

      Best story ever.

  • Breenah October 14, 2013 - 10:42 pm Reply

    I’m really glad someone else loves Van Helsing. Even with Kate Beckinsale’s horrible and unidentifiable accent.

  • ThetaSigma October 15, 2013 - 3:08 am Reply

    I want you to know that you’re awesome. I read this in the ER tonight, and now, home with a kidney infection, I’m re-reading some old entries of yours and probably that’s how I’ll spend tomorrow too (oh, bed rest, how I hate you). Anyway, you’ve brought a bit of cheer into a dreary, awful, pain-filled (oh god yes) day!

    • Pintester October 15, 2013 - 11:53 am Reply

      Aw, thank you so much, and I’m sorry you’re sick! That sucks mightily. Feel better soon!

      • ThetaSigma October 15, 2013 - 12:50 pm Reply

        Thank you! Please stay awesome! (And yay the Pintester replied to me!!!!!)

  • Jennifer Boggess October 15, 2013 - 6:10 pm Reply

    I made this last year for a Christmas party. Tried it with out heating it up first, yeah that shit sucked, but my friends were really nice and said they liked it right away. Good that you can count on your friends to blow smoke up your ass when you failed miserably at a pinterest pin. Sigh

  • Denise Plank October 16, 2013 - 3:19 pm Reply

    So basically, autumn gives you the runs?

  • Carolyn Conrad October 19, 2013 - 8:25 pm Reply

    I freaking love that the one time you don’t sub ingredients and make do with what you have, it’s vodka. Well played, Pintester. Well played.

  • steph gas October 20, 2013 - 7:48 pm Reply

    so, no one else cares about kate beckinsale in a corset for 90 minutes? just me? oh, okay.

  • Declan and Erica October 22, 2013 - 4:30 pm Reply

    We are so glad to hear this recipe worked out for you! Thank you so much for taking the time to give it your approval 🙂
    Declan and Erica
    writers of

  • Kelly October 23, 2013 - 3:47 pm Reply

    I made these with caramel apple vodka. I think the tart apple flavor in vodka really added depth to the drink.

  • Paula October 24, 2013 - 2:39 pm Reply

    I LOVED Van Helsing, and love all things Hugh Jackman….just saying….

  • Georgina Measey October 27, 2013 - 1:50 pm Reply

    The first time I read a mulled cider recipe I thought that it had become acceptable to give kids booze in America, because over here cider is alcoholic and what you call cider is just apple juice. I think you call the alcoholic stuff “hard cider”, skip the vodka and use hard cider instead of juice next time, best. thing. ever. (Take it from the girl who can drink 7 pints of hard cider and not vomit)

    • Georgina Measey October 27, 2013 - 1:53 pm Reply

      oh and some caramel syrup for the caramel flavour!

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