You will need whole spices (not ground, I mean) for today’s recipe, which does make it a little bit pricey! But this recipe makes 6 pouches of mulling spice, so once you divide it up, it’s much less expensive than buying a gift mix. Just shop around. In my area, Target had the best prices for whole spices (which I unfortunately discovered after I paid a few dollars more at my usual grocery store).
Yield: 6 batches
3 Tbsp. whole cloves
3 Tbsp. allspice berries
12-15 cinnamon sticks
Dried peel from 3 oranges (you can dry it by leaving it out for a few days, or bake it in a very low oven for a couple hours if you don’t have that much time)
Optionally, if you happen to have some whole nutmeg or ginger (or crystallized ginger), you can crack the nutmeg and thinly slice the ginger, and add 1 Tablespoon of either or both to the clove/allspice mixture to enhance the recipe. I omit these, normally, just to keep costs down. But any additions you enjoy may certainly be added!
Stir the cloves and allspice together. In a separate bowl, break the cinnamon sticks into pieces. They don’t have to be small pieces, I just break mine in half to fit into the pouches.
For each pouch, cut 2 rectangles 4″ x 8″. (I honestly just left mine doubled up and cut them 4″ x 16″, and folded it in half.)
Using a zigzag stitch, sew along each open side, making an open pouch. Add 1 Tbsp. of the allspice/clove mixture, and 2 to 2-1/2 sticks of cinnamon. (Because I break mine in half, I add 5 halves, personally.) Then, add the peel from 1/2 an orange to the pouch. There’s really no exact measurement for the orange peel… I just divide up whatever I have by 6. :)
Now, take your filled pouch back to your sewing machine, and sew it shut along the open top.
You should now have a fully-enclosed pouch. If you are using these for yourself personally, you are done! They will keep for about a year in the cupboard. If you plan to store them, you should put them in some sort of sealed container to be sure pests don’t get to them and to preserve the freshness.
If you are planning to gift them, you should add some instructions. I just printed off labels on my printer, and sewed them on the corners – just enough to be secure, but easy enough to remove when it’s time to use them.
I keep these on-hand for hostess gifts (to be delivered with a bottle of wine, of course!) and to add to goodie baskets – they make a great addition to a gift of homemade bread. :)
You will want to include the following instructions (or set them aside for your own use!)
Each pouch will mull 1/2 gallon of cider or juice, or 1 – 750ml bottle of wine.
Add spice pouch to cider or juice and heat on low (do not boil). Steep for 30-60 minutes. Remove spice pouch and serve hot!
Add spice pouch, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 cup sugar to bottle of wine and heat on low (do not boil – keep under 160F degrees). Steep for 30-60 minutes. Remove spice pouch. Optionally, add a splash of rum or brandy, and serve hot!
What’s your favorite homemade edible to gift to friends and family?