How to Make Mulling Spices

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Mulling spices are a blend of spices, typically combining allspice and cloves with a variety of other seasonal ingredients and a touch of citrus. They can be used to spice drinks like cider, wine and even beer — and when simmered in water over the stove, they create an incredibly welcoming aroma throughout any space.

Mix spices with your favorite citrus for a personalized blend.
Mix spices with your favorite citrus for a personalized blend. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Mulling spice blends are easy to find and purchase at the market, but can easily be made at home with a small collection of pantry staples. When bundled or jarred, these fragrant sachets make great gift ideas for housewarming or hostess gifts during the autumn and winter seasons.

Things You'll Need

  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves
  • Whole allspice
  • Star anise
  • Dehydrated apple slices
  • Dehydrated citrus slices
  • Cheesecloth, 6 pieces cut into 4-inch squares
  • Baker’s twine

Step 1

Gather supplies from your pantry, local market or online dry goods supply. The apple and citrus slices can be dehydrated at home either with the use of a dehydrator or by placing the slices evenly across a baking sheet to slowly heat in the oven for 3 hours at 200 degrees, turning halfway through.

Mulling spices usually include a fruit or citrus component, like apples or lemon.
Mulling spices usually include a fruit or citrus component, like apples or lemon. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 2

Cut cheesecloth into six 4-inch squares. Stack each square to create the base for three mulling spice bundles.

Double the squares for added durability.
Double the squares for added durability. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 3

Combine ingredients and divide among the cheesecloth squares, one each of cinnamon sticks and star anise, a slice each of lemon and apple with pinches of whole allspice and cloves per bundle.

Enjoy the fragrant smells of the season while making these spice blends at home.
Enjoy the fragrant smells of the season while making these spice blends at home. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 4

Gather the edges into a bundle, securing with a piece of baker’s twine, finishing with a bow.

Complete each bundle with a striped piece of baker's twine for a festive look.
Complete each bundle with a striped piece of baker's twine for a festive look. (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Tip

  • Break down the cinnamon sticks and citrus slices if too large to secure within the square bundle.

Step 5

Store spice bags in an airtight container or zipper bag for up to 6 months.

Finished mulling spice bundles, ready for use or gift giving
Finished mulling spice bundles, ready for use or gift giving (Image: Image by Tim & Mary Vidra)

Step 6

When ready for use, steep a single bundle over the stovetop in simmering cider or wine for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bundle before serving as a fragrant seasonal mulled treat. Alternatively, steep in simmering water for 3 to 4 hours to fill your space with holiday aromas.

Steeping a spice bundle in simmering water fills any space with delightful scents
Steeping a spice bundle in simmering water fills any space with delightful scents (Image: https://www.jossandmain.com)

Looking for more DIY holiday ideas? Learn how to create a behind-the-door wrapping paper station, or fashion your own modern Himmeli-style tree topper.

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