DIY / Make

DIY: Mulling Spices

Fill your home with the warm, comforting scents and flavors of mulling spices

DIY: Mulling Spices
Michelle Montgomery Photography

Cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and star anise have been used for hundreds of years to infuse winter beverages like mulled wine, cider, and tea. Fill your home with the warm, comforting scents and flavors of mulling spices with the easy DIY recipe. Customize your own blend to share with friends and family during this season of giving.

Mulling Spices

  • Cotton drawstring bag or square of cheesecloth
  • Various spices and dried fruits such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, star anise, orange peel, vanilla beans, ginger root
  • Cider, tea or wine
  • Optional: cloth bag and mallet (for pounding whole spices)
  1. Put nutmeg, cardamom pods, and/ or cinnamon sticks in a cloth bag and whack with a mallet to break into pieces.
  2. Add additional spices, roots, and dried fruits to taste.
  3. Put the mix in a cotton drawstring bag or wrap in cheesecloth and tie with twine. Toss in 1-2 star anise pods per bag, if you’d like.
  4. Suspend the sachet in wine, cider, tea, or punch while heating over a stovetop.
  5. Drink up!

Classic Mulled Wine


  • 1 bottle red wine (your choice)
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice or ½ cup elderberry syrup
  • 1-2 bags mulling spices
  • ½ cup brandy (optional)


  1. Combine wine and orange juice in a large saucepan
  2. Add sachet(s) of mulling spices and a few whole cinnamon sticks
  3. Heat over medium heat until steaming and not quite boiling, then turn heat to low and simmer for 20-30 min.
  4. Add brandy and elderberry syrup, if using.
  5. Stir well. Garnish with an orange slice and/or cinnamon stick. Serve warm.
  6. Recommended pairing with Herby Roasted Almonds (page 273; Community Table: Recipes for an Ecological Food Future)

Mulled Cider


  • 6 cups fresh, organic apple cider
  • ¼ cup organic maple syrup or high-grade honey (optional)
  • 1-2 bags mulling spices
  • Organic cinnamon sticks and nutmeg (freshly grated)


  1. Pour apple cider into a large pan with maple syrup (if using). Stir.
  2. Add mulling spices and cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not boil.
  3. Serve warm in mugs, garnish with a cinnamon stick and freshly grated nutmeg.
  4. Recommended pairing with Port Poached Pears (page 255; Community Table: Recipes for an Ecological Food Future)

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