Mulling Spices for Apple Cider and Red Wine

Mulling Spices for Apple Cider and Red Wine

The Spruce / Emily Baker

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 20 mins
Yields: 14 spice bags
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
562 Calories
14g Fat
146g Carbs
9g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 562
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 173mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 146g 53%
Dietary Fiber 75g 267%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 88mg 442%
Calcium 1345mg 103%
Iron 15mg 85%
Potassium 1163mg 25%
*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.


Click Play to See These Mulling Spices Come Together


  • 3 ounces cinnamon sticks

  • 6 whole nutmeg

  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dried orange peel

  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped lemon peel

  • 1/4 cup allspice berries

  • 1/4 cup whole cloves

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

  • 14 (5-inch) squares double-layer cheesecloth

  • 14 (10-inch) lengths of kitchen twine

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. Alternatively, you can use empty single-serve tea filter bags.

    spice mixture in the center of 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 half an hour. Discard the spice pouch, and serve the hot cider in mugs.


  • 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.