Mulling Spices for Apple Cider Recipe

Glass of Apple Cider
Renee Keith / Getty Images
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 14 spice bags (14 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
39 Calories
1g Fat
9g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 14 spice bags (14 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 39
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Protein 1g
Calcium 94mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Mulled apple cider and wine are welcome guests at fall and winter gatherings and they have a side benefit: your house smells wonderful when guests arrive.

Serve hot mulled apple cider with doughnuts. Put out a wide selection that includes traditional glazed, chocolate frosted, vanilla frosted, cake with vanilla frosting, and sprinkles and chocolate. Alternatively, you could serve mulled wine with more sophisticated snacks -- gourmet cheeses, artisan and French bread, fancy crackers and your favorite dolled-up hors-d'oeuvres.

This spice mix makes a nice gift for friends who enjoy mulled apple cider or red wine. If you are giving spice bags as a gift, be sure to include the recipe instructions.


  • 3 ounces cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole nutmeg (1 ounce)
  • 1/3 cup dried orange peel (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup dried lemon peel (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup allspice berries
  • 1/4 cup whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger (finely chopped)
  • 14 double-layer cheesecloth 5-inch squares
  • 14 (10-inch) lengths of white string

Steps to Make It

  1. Place cinnamon sticks and nutmeg into a heavy freezer bag.

  2. Pound the spices with the bottom of a small heavy skillet or kitchen mallet to break them into small pieces.

  3. Place the spices in a bowl and stir in the orange peel, lemon peel, allspice, cloves, and ginger.

  4. Place about 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture in the center of a 5-inch square of double-layer cheesecloth (will use about 14 squares).

  5. Tie the cloth securely with string.

Making Mulled Apple Cider or Red Wine

Each bag will spice a 750 ml bottle of red wine (3 1/4 cups) or 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of apple cider.

To make mulled red wine, you just mix in water, sugar, and spices. If you have made up spice packets, you can substitute one for each bottle of wine for the spices in the recipe. 

To make mulled apple cider, all you need is the spices. Just bring the mix to a boil, cover the pot and simmer for about a half an hour.

Best Wine for Mulling

Mulling covers up many of the subtleties of wine, so don't waste money on the really good stuff. Look around on the middle shelves for medium-priced bottles; not too cheap, but not much more than twenty dollars.

You want a big, bold, dry red wine to shine through the mulling so you don't get a mouthful dominated by the spices. Go with a Malbec, Zinfandel, or Syrah/Shiraz. Blends are usually cheaper; a blend of two or even three of these varieties would be a fine choice.