Mulling spices are simple to make and make wonderful holiday gifts. Use mulled wine spices to make a festive holiday drink that creates the most beautiful fragrance throughout your home. These spices can be used for red wine, brandy, or mulled cider spices. They’re also great for syrups, coffee, and even potpourri.
When we think about fall drinks, pumpkin spice is the first thing that comes to mind. However, don’t let another important fall must-have slip your mind: drinks with mulled spices. During the winter months, there is nothing better than sitting by a fire, while it’s snowing outside sipping a hot toddy, like
Mulled wine spices and mulled cider spices are just the things you need to cozy up as cold weather approaches. Read our complete guide to making your own mulling spices so you can sip on your favorite winter drinks this year.
What does mulled mean?
Before we begin with the recipe, it’s important to know what the word mulled means. The definition of mulled is “to heat, sweeten, and flavor (a beverage, such as wine or cider) with spices.” The word “mulled” likely came from the English word “mull,” to ponder. It was traditionally an English drink called wassail.
Mulling spices are a blend of warm spices that are added to wine, cider, and other beverages to make a delicious drink.
How to Make Mulling Spices
Follow our homemade mulling spices recipe in the recipe card below.
Making mulling spices is easy as pie. Gather the ingredients below and follow our simple directions to make your own!
You’ll need just a few items to make these spices:
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Rolling Pin or Heavy Skillet – These are used to crush the whole spices.
- Large Plastic Bag or Large Muslin Bag
- Small Jars or Small Muslin Bags
Here are the whole spices you’ll need to make mulled cider spices. You will most likely have many of these spices at home. However, you can find all of these at your local grocery store or online.
- Allspice Whole
- Peppercorn Whole
- Star Anise Whole
- Candied Ginger – Sliced into small cubes
Directions for Making Homemade Mulling Spices
Simply add the cardamom, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg into a plastic bag and slightly crush them up with a rolling pin, mallet, or heavy skillet.
Cut the dried orange peel and candied ginger into small cubes.
Add the crushed spices, sliced orange peel and ginger and star anise, peppercorn, and allspice into a mixing bowl and stir them together.
Scoop the mulling spices into individual jars to store or cheesecloth bags.
If you’re giving the spices as gifts, add a dried orange slice in there, close the lid and tie it with a cute ribbon.
To make a spiced drink, add the spices to a saucepan with your choice of beverage. Let it simmer for at least ten minutes. Add more time if you like your winter drinks extra spicy.
How to Store Mulling Spices
Keep mulling spices in sealed bags or an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
How to Use Mulling Spices
The most popular way to use mulling spices is when making mulled wine. We have a great mulled wine recipe with step-by-step instructions for making your own.
Here is a basic formula for using mulled spices in wine and cider:
- For a 750 ml bottle of wine, use 2 tablespoons of spices.
- For hot cider, use 4 tablespoons per gallon of apple cider.
- Add in honey or brown sugar to sweeten it and you can also add some fresh ginger and lemon juice to the mixture.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then let it simmer on low heat in a pot with the liquid for 20 to 30 minutes. You can also do this in a slow cooker.
- Drain them out and pour the cider or wine back into the pot. Serve this beverage straight from the pot.
- If you don’t want to strain, try using a spice ball for the spices and simmer them in the liquid that way.
You can also use mulling spices with the below beverages:
- Apple juice
- Pomegranate juice
- Pear Juice
Mulling Spices for Fragrance
Mulling spices double-duty as potpourri! You can also use mulling spices to add fragrance to your home. They’ll add the most festive holiday scent throughout your home!
It’s simple too, just boil a few cups of water and add in 1/4 cup of the spices. Simmer for 20 minutes while the spices fill the home with fall aromas.
Mulling Spices Benefits
You’ll be delighted to find out that mulling spices are beneficial to you. Cinnamon, for example, has tons of antioxidants and can lower your blood sugar level. Cloves reduce inflammation and are a great source of vitamin k and potassium.
Mulling Spices As Gifts
Mulling spices make wonderful gifts for the fall and holiday season. They also make wonderful party favors for any special gathering, like our fall harvest party.
Add the homemade spices into small jars or cloth spice bags and tie them with a ribbon.
Gift them with a bottle of wine and a recipe for making mulled wine for the ultimate gift.
Another option is to give them a loaf of our fresh baked pumpkin bread. What a treat that would be!
We also love to give our homemade pumpkin spice out as gifts too.
Tips for Making Mulling Spices
There are a variety of ways to use these homemade spices that aren’t just for wine. Here are some tips for making them and different ways to use them:
Affordable Wine – You don’t need an expensive bottle of wine when making mulled wine, as the spices cover up the notes and flavors in the wine. A medium-priced bottle will be just fine, no more than twenty dollars. Go for a bold, dry red wine to accompany the spices. Something like a Malbec, Zinfandel, or Syrah.
Seasoning – You can also use the spices for other recipes too. Grind the mulling spices in a spice grinder or coffee grinder until finely ground and add it like you would pumpkin spice to pancakes and cookies.
Simple Syrup – Make a mulled spice simple syrup to use for holiday cocktails.
Extra Booze – Add a little apricot brandy to the mulled wine to make it extra special.
You can use spice muslin bags for the spices as they are already portioned out
Frequently Asked Questions
Some think the term is borrowed from the old English word “mouldale,” which means funeral banquet. Others think the English borrowed the Dutch word “mol,” which is a type of bear.
The phrase most likely comes from one of the oldest definitions for mull, which is to soften or break into smaller pieces.
lose their flavor after they’ve been simmered. Use fresh spices for the best flavor.
Also, make sure to store them in an airtight container will preserve the flavor for longer.
The word “Glühwein” roughly translates to “glow wine.” Which is the same thing as mulled wine. It’s often served at Christmas markets in Europe.
If you don’t have star anise, which is a star-shaped spice, then you can use substitute it with anise seed or fennel as they both have licorice-like flavor.
Can You Drink Mulling Spices?
Yes! Mulling spices taste absolutely delectable when you add them to your fall recipes.
What’s even better is that you can eat them, too. Uses mulling spices as a spice rub or turkey brine for your meat. You can also try them as a topping for your waffles, donuts, or pancakes on Christmas morning.
What Are Mulling Spices?
Mulling spices are an assortment of spices for fall drinks and winter drinks. Though you can sip on these drinks any time of year, they’re best for spreading a little holiday cheer.
Why not try some fall recipes for a party? Here’s how to host the best fall harvest party.
What Is Mulling Spice Made of?
Mix and match some of these mulled wine spices and mulled cider spices to get the perfect blend for your fall drinks:
- star anise
- dried fruits (apples, orange peel, or raisins)
How long do you steep mulling spices?
The spices should steep in a liquid for at least 20 minutes. We prefer 30 minutes to really infuse the mixture and create a comforting flavor.
How Long Do Mulling Spices Last?
When stored properly in an airtight container, mulling spices last about 6 months. Bake a large batch at the beginning of fall to use them all fall and winter.
More Drink Recipes You’ll Love
If you love making these spices and sipping mulled cider, try these festive fall cocktail recipes:
There you have it! Use mulling spices to celebrate the coziest time of the year.
Remember, mulling spices make great homemade gifts for teachers, friends, and coworkers. If you make them let us know by leaving a comment below. We’d love to know your thoughts!
- 4 sticks cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cardamom pods
- 5 whole nutmeg
- 5 whole star anise
- 1/4 cup cloves, whole
- 1/4 cup all spice berries, whole
- 1/2 cup peppercorns, whole
- 1/3 cup dried oranges, cut into small cubes
- 3 tbsp crystalized ginger, cut into small cubes
- Simply add the cardamom, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg into a plastic bag and slightly crush them up with a rolling pin.
- Cut the dried orange peel and candied ginger into small cubes.
- Add the crushed spices, sliced orange peel and ginger and star anise, peppercorn and allspice into a mixing bowl and stir them together.
- Scoop the mulling spices into individual jars to store.
- If you’re giving the spices as gifts, add a dried orange slice in there, close the lid and tie with a cute ribbon.