Mulling Spices for Apple Cider and Red Wine

Mulling Spices for Apple Cider and Red Wine

The Spruce / Emily Baker

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yields: 14 spice bags
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
39 Calories
1g Fat
9g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
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 wine or apple cider are welcome hot beverages at fall and winter gatherings; the warm spices offer a comforting flavor and add a special touch to any party. And mulling spices have a side benefit—your house smells wonderful when guests arrive.

This spice mix makes a nice gift for friends who enjoy mulled cider or red wine. If you are giving spice bags as a present, be sure to include recipe instructions for how to use it at home. For at home storage, keep the bags in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole nutmeg
  • 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 pieces of double-layer cheesecloth (cut into 5-inch squares)
  • 14 (10-inch) lengths of white string

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Mulling Spices for Apple Cider and Red Wine ingredients

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

  2. Place the cinnamon sticks and nutmeg in a heavy-duty freezer bag, press the air out, and seal.

     cinnamon sticks and nutmeg in a heavy-duty freezer bag

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

  3. Pound the spices with the bottom of a rolling pin, small heavy skillet, or kitchen mallet to break them into small pieces.

    cinnamon sticks and nutmeg in a heavy-duty freezer bag crushed into small pieces

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

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

    orange peel, lemon peel, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger in a bowl

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

  5. Place about 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture in the center of each 5-inch square of double-layer cheesecloth.

    2 tablespoons of the spice mixture in the center of each 5-inch square of double-layer cheesecloth

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

  6. Tie the cloth securely with string and use it to prepare mulled cider or wine.

    Tie cheesecloth with string, Mulling Spices for Apple Cider and Red Wine

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

How to Use

  • Each bag will spice 3 1/4 cups (a 750 ml bottle) of red wine, or 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of apple cider.
  • To make mulled red wine, combine the wine, 1/3 cup honey or sugar, and the spice pouch in a pot. Warm over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring once in a while to make sure the sweetener is dissolved. Ladle the liquid into mugs, discarding the spice pouch.
  • To make mulled apple cider, all you need is the spice pouch and cider. Just place in a pot, bring the mix to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for about a half an hour. Discard the spice pouch and serve the hot cider in mugs.

Tips

  • 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.