Recipe: Christmas Pudding Cider

A festive cider with dried fruit, cherries, spices and brandy; a Christmas pudding in a glass!

Hi homebrewers,

Christmas is now over, but we’re still feeling festive here at Homebrewing Australia. The keezer was almost full and with one keg free I decided, with the leftover ingredients from making Christmas pudding to make a festive cider. This thing is boozy, fruity and spiced. Perfect to have cold to quench your thirst or maybe even warmed up as a mulled cider. Either way at a hearty 6% – 7.2% abv, it will at very least help you get through an awkward Christmas lunch with your relatives.

Cider Profile

Batch volume: 14 L
OG: 1.062
FG: 1.015
ABV: ~6% – 7%

6 L UHT Apple Juice
4 L Fresh Cloudy Apple Juice
2 L UHT Apple and Blackcurrant Juice
2 L Water
100 ml Brandy
600 g Glacéd cherries
150 g Dried mixed fruit (Sultanas, raisins, currants and mixed peel)
3 tbsp Mixed spice powder
1 Packet Safale – S-04


Place the dried mixed fruit and brandy in a jar and give it a shake. Soak it for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. Combine the juices, water and then decant and add the brandy from the dried fruit. Place the glacéd cherries and dried mixed fruit in a mesh bag (or not) and add it to the fermentor. Add the mixed spices. Rehydrate the yeast, aerate the must and then pitch in the yeast. Ferment at 17ºC raising to 20ºC after a few days. If you are kegging, stop the fermentation and package at 1.015 for a medium-sweet finish.

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonate to between 2.6 and 3 volumes and if bottling store for at least 30 days prior to drinking.

2 comments on “Recipe: Christmas Pudding CiderAdd yours →

  1. Did you add anything else to this that you’ve left out of the recipe? Some dex or some other sort of sugar? I’ve followed your recipe but my OG is only 1.036

    1. Interesting. The OG of the normal tetra (shelf-stable) bought juice I used was around 1.045-1.050. The glacéd cherries had a heap of sugar too.

      What was the gravity reading from your juice?

      In terms on what to do, there are two options as far as I see it. The first is to let it be. In terms of final abv, the sugars in the fruit will break down during the ferment and you’ve also got some brandy there to boost the abv a bit too. Slightly less booze at christmas probably isnt a bad thing. The second option is to adds some dextrose like you’ve suggested, I’d add enough to bring the OG up to around 1.050. You’ll have to keep an eye on fermentation temp and avoid it getting too warm (above 21°C) to help avoid those fusel alcohol / solventy notes.

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