mulling spices

Easy Mulling Spices Recipe for The Perfect Winter Drinks

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Want to kick up your winter beverages? Why not make your own mulling spices? Mulling spices are a great way to add warmth and flavor to your holiday drinks. This homemade spice blend will make you feel like the perfect hostess of the season when served to family and friends!

This recipe is easy-to-follow and can be used for any occasion, not just Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for any fall or winter celebration. The best part about these spices is that they last a long time if stored properly, so don’t worry about running out of them this time of year. You can store them in an airtight jar or container for up to 6 months. Let’s get started with this easy recipe that’s perfect for entertaining and gift giving!

mulling spices recipe

Mulling Spices Health Benefits

Using a mulling spice blend to make your favorite cozy fall and winter beverage is an easy way of adding complexity, aroma, and warmth, as well as adding an immune boosting benefit. The volatile essential oils in cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom are antimicrobial, which contribute to their ability to boost our body’s immune system and help fight colds and flu. These types of warming spices also help to build internal heat to support healthy digestion. 

So, in late fall and winter, when there is less diversity of fresh foods, consider adding these spices to make a hot toddy of spiced apple cider, spiced hard cider, mulled wine, or spiced tea to help keep your body healthy.

mulling spices

Ingredients

Before we dive into crafting our delightful spice blend, let’s first pause and consider the essential ingredients that bring this blend to life.

Embark on a little exploration of your spice cabinet and pantry. It’s the perfect opportunity to declutter, removing any herbs and spices that have outlived their flavor and taking stock of what remains.

With this fresh perspective and inventory in hand, peruse the list of ingredients I’ll share below. This will help you identify any spices you might need to gather on your next visit to the market. Let’s ensure we have everything we need to create a blend that’s not only aromatic but truly vibrant with flavor.

Here’s What You Need:

  • 3 oz cinnamon sticks 
  • ⅓  cup cardamom pods
  • ¼ cup allspice berries
  • ¼ cup whole cloves
  • ¼  cup star anise pods
  • ⅓ cup dried orange peel — store bought or dried in oven 
  • ¼ cup black peppercorns
  • *optional dried or crystallized ginger (as much or as little as you want) 
winter spice tea blend

Creating Homemade Mulling Spices

Begin by placing the whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, allspice berries, cloves, and star anise into a large zip-top bag. Gently crush them a few times using a rolling pin. This helps to break the larger spices and release their essential oils, unlocking their full aromatic potential.

Next, incorporate dried orange peel, peppercorns and dried or crystallized ginger into the same bag. Give the contents a good toss to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed. Your mulling spices are now ready! Store them in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to infuse your beverages with their warm, inviting flavors. I like to store them in a pretty clip top jar.

Mulling Instructions

Mulling your favorite beverages with our spice mix is a delightful way to enhance their flavors. Whether you choose apple cider, wine, or even hard cider, the process is simple and the results are wonderfully aromatic.

  1. Measure the Spice Mix: For 6-8 cups of your chosen beverage, use about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of the mulling spice mix.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In a large saucepan, mix your beverage (apple cider, wine, or hard cider) with the measured spice mix. Ensure you have a lid for the saucepan.
  3. Heat Gently: Slowly heat the mixture until it is steaming. Avoid bringing it to a boil to preserve the delicate flavors of the spices.
  4. Steep the Spices: Let the spices infuse their flavors into the beverage for about 20 minutes, covered. This step is crucial for extracting the full aromatic profile of the spices.
  5. Using a Crock pot (Optional): If you’re using a crock pot or slow cooker, especially for larger batches, set it to low. Place the spices in a cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter tied with string for easy removal later. Leave the spices to infuse in the liquid until you’re ready to serve.
  6. Strain and Serve: After the mulling process, strain the hot liquid into mugs. This step ensures a smooth beverage free from spice residues.
  7. Add Honey to Wine or Hard Cider (Optional): If you’re using wine or hard cider, sweeten each cup with a tablespoon of honey, stirring well to combine.

*Tip — If making for a crowd, the recipe can be doubled and a crock pot used to keep your mulled beverage hot. Simply place your spices in a square of cheese cloth, tied up with a string, and left to infuse with the liquid (cider or wine) in the crock pot.  No cheesecloth?  That’s okay, you can use a paper coffee filter, tied with string as well. 

spiced mead

Mulling Spices

Barbi Gardiner
Create a cozy, aromatic mulling spice mix with cinnamon, cardamom, and more. Perfect for enhancing ciders and wines. Easy recipe with expert tips
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Condiment
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 oz Cinnamon Sticks
  • cup Cardamom Pods
  • ¼ cup Allspice Berries
  • ¼ cup Whole Cloves
  • ¼ cup Star Anise Pods
  • cup Dried Orange Peel store-bought or oven-dried
  • ¼ cup Black or Pink Peppercorns
  • *Optional Dried or Crystallized Ginger

Instructions
 

  • Measure the Spice Mix: For 6-8 cups of your chosen beverage, use about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of the mulling spice mix.
  • Combine Ingredients: In a large saucepan, mix your beverage (apple cider, wine, or hard cider) with the measured spice mix. Ensure you have a lid for the saucepan.
  • Heat Gently: Slowly heat the mixture until it is steaming. Avoid bringing it to a boil to preserve the delicate flavors of the spices.
  • Steep the Spices: Let the spices infuse their flavors into the beverage for about 20 minutes, covered. This step is crucial for extracting the full aromatic profile of the spices.
  • Using a Crockpot (Optional): If you're using a crockpot or slow cooker, especially for larger batches, set it to low. Place the spices in a cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter tied with string for easy removal later. Leave the spices to infuse in the liquid until you're ready to serve.
  • Strain and Serve: After the mulling process, strain the hot liquid into mugs. This step ensures a smooth beverage free from spice residues.
  • Add Honey to Wine or Hard Cider (Optional): If you're using wine or hard cider, sweeten each cup with a tablespoon of honey, stirring well to combine.

Notes

Additional Tips:
  • Experiment with Spice Ratios: Feel free to adjust the quantities of individual spices according to your taste preferences. Some might prefer a more cinnamon-heavy mix, while others might enjoy the boldness of cloves or cardamom.
  • Quality Matters: Invest in high-quality, fresh spices. The quality of your ingredients directly impacts the flavor of your mulling mix.
  • Seasonal Variations: Consider adding seasonal ingredients to your mix. For instance, during autumn, a pinch of nutmeg or pumpkin spice can add a festive touch.
  • Label Your Mix: If storing for later use, label the container with the date of creation. Spices generally keep well, but it’s good to know how long they’ve been stored.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Not only are these mulling spices the perfect addition to your winter drinks, but they also make the perfect gift idea for the holiday season as well as for hostess gifts, teacher gifts, or secret Santa gifts this winter season.

If you plan on making up a batch of these mulling spices for gift giving, I have made up a free printable instruction tag for you to print and add to the jar. 

mulling spices

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Author

  • Barbi Gardiner

    Situated in the heart of Northeastern Connecticut, Barbi Gardiner is a bioregional herbalist and a proud member of the Chaubunagungamaug Nipmuck tribe. With a homestead recognized as a certified wildlife habitat by the Wildlife Federation and a native medicinal plant sanctuary by United Plant Savers, Barbi is a leading voice in permaculture and regenerative gardening. Passionate about seasonal living and ancestral wisdom, Barbi aims to reconnect people with the natural world and the ancient knowledge of their forebears. Through engaging articles and resources, Barbi is a beacon for sustainable living and earth-centered spirituality.

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