A good mulling spices recipe is a must for winter months, as well as the holidays. This popular tradition is a centuries old practice which developed in Europe. Mulling is the process of infusing juices, wines, cider, or brandy with spices and fruit flavors. The ingredients used vary but the result is always a delicious, warming drink. If the recipe does not specify adding sugar to the spice mixture, then often sugar will be added to the beverage when it is mulled. This is usually in the amount of one-fourth cup sugar to four cups of beverage, or to personal taste.
Basic Mulling Spices Recipe
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 1 small whole nutmeg
- 1/2 cup whole cloves
- 1/2 cup whole allspice
- Grated peel of one whole orange
Chip the cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice with a hammer. Place with other ingredients in a storage container. To use, place two tablespoons of mixture in a small muslin bag and add to four cups of beverage. Simmer. This recipe makes one and one half cups of mulling spice.
Mulling Spice with Cardamom
This is a slightly different mulling spices recipe, with the addition of cardamom seeds. The cardamom adds a warm, faintly citrus taste to the mulled beverage.
- 1 tablespoon cardamom pods, slightly crushed
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon orange rind
- 12 whole cinnamon sticks
Combine first four ingredients. Put two teaspoons of the mixture into a small muslin bag and tie two or three cinnamon sticks to the top. Simmer in four cups of beverage. This makes a beautiful gift.
Gingered Mulling Spice
- 3 oz cinnamon sticks
- 6 oz of whole nutmeg
- 1/3 cup dried lemon peel
- 1/3 cup dried orange peel
- ¼ cup whole all spice
- ¼ cup whole cloves
- 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped
Crush cinnamon stick and nutmeg with a rolling pin, a skillet, a mallet or a grinder if you have one that will do the job. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Add two tablespoons of mixture to small muslin bags and tie shut. Use one bag for every four cups of beverage, and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Mulling Spice Recipe with Anise
- 2 cups dried orange peel
- 2 cups broken cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup whole allspice berries
- 1 cup whole cloves
- broken star anise.
Mix together and store in a tightly closed jar. Use ¼ cup of mixed spices per gallon of beverage. Either strain out or tie in cheese cloth bag before simmering.
Mulled Spices with Dried Fruit
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon pickling spice
- 1 orange, sliced thinly and dried (or a half of a cup dried orange)
- 1 pear sliced thinly and dried (or a half of a cup of dried pear)
Add to four cups of simmering beverage.
Sweetened Mulling Spices Recipe
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, optional
Mix together well and place in small, tightly covered jars. To give as gifts add these instructions:
To make mulled wine or cider:
- Combine 1/4 cup of the mix with one cup red wine, apple cider, cranberry-apple juice, or other hot beverage.
- Add 1/4 cup of water.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer five minutes.
Instant Mulling Spices
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon powdered orange drink mix (Tang)
- 2 tablespoons powdered lemonade mix, not sugar free
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 2 teaspoon whole allspice
- 2 tablespoons red hots candy
Add to four cups of beverage and simmer for at least 20 minutes. This is especially good when mulled with a strong, black tea.
Chai Style Mulling Spice
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons cardamom pods
- 3 tablespoons dried lemon peel
- 3 tablespoons dried orange peel
- 3 tablespoons whole cloves
- 3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
- 2 tablespoons whole allspice
- 1 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 1 three-inch section of vanilla bean, scraped.
Crush cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, and cardamom pods. Mix all ingredients well. Place in muslin bags or store in a jar. Use about three tablespoonfuls per half gallon of beverage.
Beverages to Use Mulling Spices In
- Apple cider
- Cherry cider
- Pear juice
- Cranberry juice
- Cran-raspberry juice
- Orange juice
- Apricot juice
- Pineapple juice
- Pomegranate juice
- Mixture of above juices
- Black tea
- Red wine
Any of these make an excellent mulled beverage, however try mixing several together for a delicious change of pace.
Best Method for Mulling
The easiest method for making a lot of a mulled beverage is to make it in the crock pot. Any mulled drink can be made in the crock pot, although it is especially important not to let wine boil.
Simmer the mulled spices recipe of choice in four cups of the drink you have chosen. If it is not sweetened, add up to ¾ of a cup of brown sugar, maple sugar, honey or white sugar. Simmer for three hours or more and serve hot.
If you make your muslin bags for the mulling spices use organic cotton or muslin, and make sure that the string, or ribbon you use for the drawstring is food grade. Also, always get organic fruits, spices and herbal products when possible.
Mulled spices are wonderful gifts and make any wintry day seem special.