Mulling it over: Infusing Spices in Hot Drinks

Mulling it over: Infusing Spices in Hot Drinks

It’s easy to add rich flavours to warm tea and cider with our mulling spice recipe ideas.


You know it’s winter when you’re craving something hot – your hands wrapped around a steaming beverage, sitting close to a fire.

The scene is even better when you add in the scent of mulling spices, right? Even if you don’t know the ins and outs of mulling spices, we’ve got you covered. Learning to infuse your cup with simmering spices, like clove and cinnamon, is easy. Your friends – and your nose – will thank you.

Let’s begin with the basics, and then we’ll learn how to infuse rich, earthy notes into your favourite hot cider and teas.

Mulling Spices 101
Creating hot mulled beverages for cold winter nights is a centuries-old tradition that’s easy. To “mull” means to infuse the essence of herbs, spices and fruits into hot liquids, like cider and tea. It all starts with a handcrafted sachet, filled with aromatic spices. Trust us, your house will never smell so good.

Mulling Spice Sachet
Prep time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Makes: 6 sachets (1 sachet infuses up to 2 litres of cider, punch or tea)
Cost: $ 

Ingredients
45 mL (3 tablespoons) orange peel
45 mL (3 tablespoons) broken cinnamon sticks

30 mL (2 tablespoons) whole allspice
30 mL (2 tablespoons) whole cloves
Cheesecloth sheets, cut into 18 12.5x12.5-centimeter squares
Twine 

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl
  2. Layer together 3 cheesecloth squares and place on a clean work surface
  3. Measure about 15 mL (1 tablespoon) spice mix and spoon onto the centre of the cheesecloth
  4. Grab the opposite corners of the cheesecloth and pull upward to connect them
  5. Secure the top with a small piece of kitchen twine
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining corners and create a pouch
  7. Store sachets in an airtight container until ready to use
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Easy Gift Idea: As you fasten together the top of your sachet, add a few berry sprigs and a piece of raffia or ribbon to create an instant present that friends and family will love. Complete the gift with a handwritten recipe card for one of our mulled drinks below. 

Optional Add-ins
Create more layers of deep, intense flavour by adding one or more of the following to your sachet:

  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) crystallized ginger, roughly chopped
  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) star anise
  • 15 mL (1 tablespoon) cardamom pods
  • 2 mL (1/2 teaspoon) whole black peppercorns

Spice-infused Apple Cider
Prep time: 5 minutes
Simmer time: 1 hour
Makes: 2 litres
Difficulty: Easy 

Ingredients
2 litre (1/2 gallon) apple cider
1 mulling spice sachet 

Instructions

  1. Bring cider to a simmer over medium-low heat in a large saucepan
  2. Once bubbling, add spice sachet to the cider
  3. Let simmer for at least 60 minutes
  4. Remove and discard sachet before serving

Tip: For a pretty presentation, add an orange slice and cinnamon stick to each glass.

Mulled Black Breakfast Tea
Give your usual cup of tea an exciting twist by adding a mulling spice sachet right into your mug. Prepare your favourite black breakfast tea as directed, and then add a sachet to steep alongside the tea bag. Remove both the tea bag and sachet before drinking.

Tip: As a rule, the longer something steeps, the more flavourful and fragrant the mulled drink will be. If you have the time, feel free to let your spice sachet sit longer than the recommended time – just be prepared for a more intense flavour.

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