“Bunratty” Iced ‘n’ Spiced Pumpkin Apple Cider

Posted on October 24, 2019
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With a name like this, it’s gotta be good.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am REALLY proud of my Irish heritage. I am an Irish dancer, I love Celtic music, and I am really into my cultural heritage. So when my mom and aunt decided to take me to Ireland a couple years ago, it was a dream come true!

I was able to tour the countryside, seeing castles and small villages and dancing in local pubs. It was honestly the best trip I’ve ever been on. One of the highlights for me was Bunratty Castle.

Bunratty is a very old castle, surrounded by this awesome medieval village, and they host a dinner inside the castle every night with traditional foods (you eat with your fingers!) and amazing, authentic entertainment. It was my favorite meal of the whole trip!

They serve mead at the dinner, but the kids and adults who didn’t drink alcohol were served this amazing cider, which was spicy and sweet and made me feel like I was living in real medieval times!

I’ve done my best to replicate it here, and I think this cider is just AMAZING. Every time I make it, it reminds me of sitting in Bunratty Castle in Ireland, sipping cider from a roughly hewn mug and listening to the live musicians.

Make this for your next holiday party, and serve it in a real pumpkin for the best flavor (and it looks good, too!)


For the Spiced Simple Syrup:

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Honey (Use local honey! Its the best!)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Inches of Fresh Ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Pumpkin (not canned)

For the Mocktail:

  • 3 Cups Apple Juice
  • 1 1/2 Cups Ginger Ale
  • 1 1/2 Cups Seltzer Water
  • 2 Large Apples, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Cranberries
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (optional)
  • Spiced Simple Syrup (see recipe)
  • 1 Large Pumpkin, Hollowed and Clean


In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, pumpkin, and honey, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and stir frequently until sugar and honey are dissolved, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add cinnamon and ginger. Let it sit until it comes to room temp with the spices in it.

While it’s cooling, peel and slice apples. In the large pumpkin, combine CHILLED juice, ginger ale, and seltzer. Strain the syrup and add to taste, beginning with a half cup. I like to add the whole thing, but it’s a pretty strong spicy flavor. Add apples and frozen cranberries. Extra cinnamon sticks can be added for garnish and flavor, and ice can be added to keep things nice and chilled.

Cover a small plate or saucer with the brown sugar. Take serving glasses, and dip the rims into the cider. Turn upside down onto the brown sugar, to coat the rim.

Serve cider immediately over ice.