Apple Knock Recipe with Cinnamon, Cloves, and Nutmeg

Apple Knock

Apple Knock Recipe with Cinnamon, Cloves, and Nutmeg
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 8


Apple Knock
Apple Knock

Apple Knock is a warm, spiced beverage that combines the rich flavors of apple cider with the zest of citrus and the warmth of brandy, making it a perfect drink for chilly evenings or festive gatherings. This recipe is not just a drink; it's an experience, blending the aromatic spices with sweet and tangy flavors to create a comforting concoction that soothes and excites the palate.


The origins of Apple Knock can be traced back to the colonial era, where apple cider was a common beverage due to the abundance of apples in the New World. Over time, settlers began experimenting with adding spices and spirits to their cider, leading to the creation of various spiced and spiked cider recipes. Apple Knock is a modern take on these traditional recipes, incorporating citrus juices and brandy for added complexity and flavor.


How to prepare

  1. Tie the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a cheesecloth.
  2. Simmer the cider and sugar with the spices for about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the bag of seasonings.
  4. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, and brandy.
  5. Heat the mixture until it starts bubbling and serve.


  • For a non-alcoholic version, omit the brandy and add a splash of vanilla extract for depth of flavor. You can also experiment with different spices, such as star anise or cardamom, for a unique twist on the traditional recipe.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To extract maximum flavor from the spices, ensure they are tied securely in the cheesecloth and simmered with the cider for the full 15 minutes. For a smoother drink, consider straining the cider mixture through a fine mesh sieve after removing the spice bag. If you prefer a less sweet beverage, adjust the sugar according to taste. Always add the brandy last and heat gently to avoid boiling off the alcohol.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Apple Knock hot in mugs or heat-resistant glasses. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or a slice of orange for an extra festive touch. This drink is perfect for sipping around a fire or as a warm welcome for guests during the holiday season.

Cooking Techniques

Simmering the spices in the cider is key to developing the deep, complex flavors of Apple Knock. Gentle heating after adding the brandy preserves the alcohol content and ensures the drink is warm and inviting without being overly hot.

Ingredient Substitutions

If apple cider is not available, apple juice can be used as a substitute, though the flavor may be slightly less robust. Maple syrup or honey can replace the sugar for a different type of sweetness. For a stronger citrus note, increase the amount of orange or lemon juice.

Make Ahead Tips

The spiced cider mixture (prior to adding the brandy) can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Gently reheat and add the brandy just before serving.

Presentation Ideas

For an elegant presentation, serve Apple Knock in clear mugs or glasses to show off the rich color of the drink. A cinnamon stick, star anise, or a twist of orange peel makes a beautiful and aromatic garnish.

Pairing Recommendations

Apple Knock pairs wonderfully with autumn and winter desserts, such as apple pie, pumpkin bread, or ginger cookies. It also complements savory dishes like roasted turkey, ham, or a cheese platter.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Apple Knock in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat gently on the stove over low heat, being careful not to bring it to a boil.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Apple Knock contains approximately 200 calories. The calories mainly come from the sugars in the apple cider, orange juice, and added sugar, with a portion also contributed by the brandy.


A serving of Apple Knock contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from the natural sugars in the apple cider and orange juice, with a smaller portion contributed by the added sugar and lemon juice.


Apple Knock is virtually fat-free, making it a lighter choice for those monitoring their fat intake. The negligible amount of fats present are naturally occurring in the ingredients and do not significantly contribute to the overall fat content of the drink.


This beverage contains minimal protein, with less than 1 gram per serving. As a primarily fruit-based drink, it is not a significant source of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Apple Knock is rich in vitamin C, thanks to the inclusion of orange and lemon juices. It also contains small amounts of potassium and other trace minerals found in apple cider and brandy. The spices, while used in small quantities, contribute antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.


This recipe is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, gluten, and soy. However, those with allergies to citrus or specific spices should consume with caution.


Apple Knock is a relatively low-fat, moderate-calorie beverage that provides a good dose of vitamin C and antioxidants. While it contains a moderate amount of sugars, it can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, especially during the colder months when you might crave a warm, comforting drink.


Apple Knock is a delightful and warming beverage that combines the best flavors of the season. With its rich history and versatile recipe, it's a perfect drink to enjoy with friends and family during the colder months. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with your own variations, Apple Knock is sure to become a cherished part of your winter traditions.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately drawn to it. The name alone, "Apple Knock," piqued my curiosity and made me eager to learn more. It was a simple yet intriguing recipe that promised a delicious outcome, and I knew I had to give it a try.

I first came across the recipe for Apple Knock many years ago, during one of my visits to a small village in the countryside. I had gone there to visit an old friend of mine, a lovely lady named Mrs. Jenkins who was known for her exceptional baking skills. As soon as I walked into her cozy kitchen, I was greeted by the mouthwatering aroma of freshly baked goods.

Mrs. Jenkins was in the midst of preparing a batch of Apple Knock, and I watched in awe as she effortlessly combined the ingredients and transformed them into a beautiful, golden-brown pastry. The apples, cinnamon, and sugar mingled together to create a heavenly scent that filled the entire room.

I was captivated by the simplicity of the recipe and the way in which Mrs. Jenkins handled the dough with such finesse. She explained to me that Apple Knock was a traditional dish that had been passed down through generations in her family, and she was more than happy to share the recipe with me.

As I watched her work, I couldn't help but feel a sense of nostalgia wash over me. I remembered my own grandmother, who had taught me so much about cooking and baking when I was a young girl. She had always emphasized the importance of using fresh, high-quality ingredients and taking the time to prepare dishes with love and care.

After Mrs. Jenkins had finished baking the Apple Knock, she invited me to join her at the kitchen table for a taste. I eagerly accepted, and as soon as I took my first bite, I knew that I had discovered a new favorite recipe. The tartness of the apples, the warmth of the cinnamon, and the sweetness of the sugar all melded together perfectly in a symphony of flavors.

I asked Mrs. Jenkins for the recipe, and she kindly wrote it down for me on a scrap of paper. I tucked it away in my apron pocket, grateful for the opportunity to learn from such a talented baker.

When I returned home, I wasted no time in trying out the recipe for Apple Knock myself. I gathered the ingredients, rolled out the dough, and carefully arranged the apple slices on top. As the pastry baked in the oven, my kitchen filled with the same irresistible aroma that had captivated me in Mrs. Jenkins' kitchen.

When the Apple Knock was finally ready, I couldn't wait to taste it. I cut myself a slice, took a bite, and was instantly transported back to that cozy kitchen in the countryside. The flavors were just as delicious as I remembered, and I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my own kitchen for years to come.

Over the years, I have made Apple Knock countless times, each batch just as delicious as the last. I have shared the recipe with friends and family, passing on the tradition of this beloved dish to the next generation.

As I continue to cook and bake, I am reminded of the lessons I learned from my grandmother and Mrs. Jenkins. Cooking is not just about following a recipe – it is about creating something beautiful and meaningful, something that brings joy to those who taste it.

And so, whenever I make Apple Knock, I do so with love and care, knowing that I am carrying on a tradition that has been passed down through the ages. It is a recipe that brings me joy and comfort, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share it with others.

In the end, it is not just about the food itself, but the memories and stories that come with it. And for me, the story of how I learned to make Apple Knock will always hold a special place in my heart.


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