Cosy up indoors and cup your hands around a glass of something warm and flavoured with winter mulling spices. Begin with the basics, and then learn how to infuse rich, earthy notes like clove, cinnamon and star anise into simmering 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.
Mulling Spice Sachet ?
Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes: 6 sachets (1 sachet infuses up to 2 litres (1/2 gallon) of cider, punch or tea)
45 mL (3 tbsp) orange peel
45 mL (3 tbsp) broken cinnamon sticks?
30 mL (2 tbsp) whole allspice
30 mL (2 tbsp) whole cloves
Cheesecloth sheets, cut into 18 12x12-centimetre (5x5-inch) squares
- Combine all ingredients in a medium-size bowl
- Layer together 3 cheesecloth squares and place on a clean work surface
- Measure about 15 mL (1 tbsp) spice mix and spoon onto the centre of the cheesecloth
- Grab the opposite corners of the cheesecloth and pull upward to connect them
- Secure the top with a small piece of kitchen twine
- Repeat the process with the remaining corners and create a pouch
- Store sachets in an airtight container until ready to use
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.
Create more layers of deep, intense flavour by adding one or more of the following to your sachet:
- 15 mL (1 tbsp) crystallized ginger, roughly chopped
- 15 mL (1 tbsp) star anise
- 15 mL (1 tbsp) cardamom pods
- 2 mL (1/2 tsp) whole black peppercorns
Spice-Infused Apple Cider
Prep time: 5 minutes
Simmer time: 1 hour
Makes: 2 litres (1/2 gallon)
2 litres (1/2 gallon) apple cider
1 mulling spice sachet
- Bring cider to a simmer over medium-low heat in a large saucepan
- Once bubbling, add spice sachet to the cider
- Let simmer for at least 60 minutes
- 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 to 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.