Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mott's Original Orchard Style Hot Cider Is Just Above Average For An Instant Drink!

The Good: Aroma, Taste, Nutrition
The Bad: Environmentally irresponsible packaging, Expense
The Basics: Mott's Orchard Style Original Hot Cider is surprisingly good for a basic flavor of instant hot cider.

As part of getting healthier in the new year, I am actually forced to – for the first time in my life – pay attention to ingredients and nutritional information. This is actually a very good thing for me, but it has taken a lot of time and attention that I used to devote to simply eating and drinking. This means that I have been looking for less calorie-packed, less sodium-filled options for consumption than traditional hot chocolate mixes. While my teas have been a good way to keep hydrated, I get tired of all of the water and my wife and I have taken to occasional treats with hot beverages.

That is what led me to Mott’s Hot Spiced Cider. And while I have had some of their other flavors and enjoyed them, I figured it would be good and right to start with the basic flavor and work my way up. That means, I am starting with my consideration of the Original Orchard Style hot cider mix.


The Original Orchard Style hot cocoa mix is part of the Mott’s Hot Spiced Cider hot cider line. The mix comes in a .74 oz. sealed foil package and come a dozen per box. Each .74 oz. packet is a single serving and these bear a relatively high price tag virtually everywhere I have found them. They tend to run approximately seventy cents each on their own, which might not seem like a lot, but adds up quickly. This is a little more expensive when compared to other make-at-home products, but easily beats the pants off of prices one pays when getting a hot beverage like this at a restaurant.

Ease Of Preparation

The Mott’s Original Orchard Style hot cider mix is ridiculously simple to make. The cocoa is rather enduring and the packet my wife and I purchased last week did not have an expiration date on it (though there was a batch number of some sort). Because each packet is individually sealed and has some preservatives in it, this is likely to last virtually forever unopened. A single serving is the packet and six oz. of water. There is no measuring of the product involved!

As a result, preparation is ridiculously simple. The top of the envelope has a perforated edge and one need simply tear open the top, which is quite easy, and pour the contents of the packet into a mug that is at least eight ounces large. Then, simply pour hot water - near boiling, but not actually boiling as boiling water cooks the ingredients as opposed to simply dissolving them - over the powder and stir. Stir the powder until there are no blobs of apple cider powder visible in the water or giving resistance from the bottom. The beverage will have a translucent brown color to it.


Mott’s Hot Spiced Cider Original Orchard Style is surprisingly unaromatic. I write “surprisingly” because many of the other flavors I have had open up the nasal passage with their delightful and inviting aroma well before the tongue hits the beverage. That is not the case with the Original Orchard Style, which smells faintly like apples and, oddly enough, has an equally faint plastic or chemical smell to it.

Touching the tongue, though, the Original Orchard Style hot cider embodies exactly what one might hope it would. This tastes like a hot cider using apple cider from concentrate. But it actually does taste like a fresh cider heated up in the microwave with just a hint of cinnamon. The Original Orchard Style might not be the most robust apple cider flavor, but it tastes good and it tastes like what it is supposed to. This beverage leaves a slightly dry feeling on the lips, but no unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth, making it a generally satisfying thirst quencher as well as comfort drink!


Mott’s Hot Spiced Cider is a hot cider mix and is not as nutritious as fresh cider, though the Original Orchard Style flavor could be far less nutritious than it is. While I am used to reviewing things like all natural teas where the ingredients are all easily pronounceable and recognizable, the Original Orchard Style hot cider has a few ingredients that sound more like a chemistry experiment than a food product. The primary ingredients are sugar, maltodextrin and corn syrup solids. Oddly, apple puree powder is the fifth ingredient, which might explain why it is not the most richly apple flavor in the world. I could find nothing in the ingredients that would make this not vegan compliant, though the package does note that this is produced at a facility that works with milk and soy.

Obviously, Original Orchard Style is pretty high in sugars. In each cup of Original Orchard Style Hot Cider mix, there are 80 calories, none of which are from fat. There is no cholesterol and the consumer gets 1% of their recommended daily allowance of sodium out of a single packet of this beverage! This is fairly balanced by contributing 100% of one’s needed daily Vitamin C!


So long as one leaves the Original Orchard Style Cocoa Classic powder in its packet, it ought to stay usable. One assumes it will last quite a while and dissolve appropriately when one attempts to use it. The packets, for those of us who consider the environmental impact of such things, are terribly wasteful and expensive. The foil/plastic wrappers are not recyclable anywhere I've been. In bulk, I tend to prefer canisters which reduce such waste, but this cider does not appear to be available in that form.

Cleanup is very easy. If the product spills while dumping it into the mug, simply wipe it up or brush it up with a dry or damp cloth. If it has already been reconstituted with water into hot cider, simply wipe it up. Light fabrics are likely to stain if this gets on them, in which case consult your fabric care guide to clean it up.


The Mott’s Hot Spiced Cider Original Orchard Style is good and while I might figure that a basic flavor would hit about the average range, this is a little higher than true average because of the nutritional benefits. The Original Orchard Style is an enjoyable drink that can bring hot apple cider to consumers year round, not just when it is “in season!”

For other hot instant beverage mixes, please check out my reviews of:
Taster's Choice Vanilla Instant Coffee
Swiss Miss Indulgent Collection Mocha Cappuccino Cocoa
Land O' Lakes Chocolate Graham Hot Chocolate


For other food and beverage reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment