I love a mug of apple cider or hot mulled wine in the fall! But the pre-packaged tins of mulled spices can be so spendy, so I decided to come up with my own version. I’m pleased to say that not only is my mulling spices recipe delicious, it’s very easy on the budget. Even better, this recipe yields a huge batch which is perfect for divvying up for holiday gifts, or just to get you through the long days of winter.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup whole cloves
- 20 whole sticks of cinnamon
- 2/3 cup dried orange peel
- 1/2 cup crystallized ginger
- 3/4 cup whole allspice berries
“But wait!” you protest. “That’s a lot of spendy ingredients right there, Angela! How on earth is this a budget-friendly recipe?”
Here’s my pro tip: buy your spices in bulk! Not only will you save a killing on these ingredients, you can buy the exact quantity you need. I love shopping at WinCo for my spices.
At WinCo, I spent $0.72 for crystallized ginger, $0.76 for about 25 cinnamon sticks, and $2.47 for 1 cup of whole cloves. Not bad, huh? If you don’t have a WinCo near you, check your grocery store. In my area, QFC, Fred Meyer, and Whole Foods Market all have a bulk food section.
Another tip to save money on spices is to check the aisle that sells the Latin American ingredients. They often have spices for super cheap. I found these bags of whole allspice berries for just $0.71 per bag! Down the spice aisle, small containers of this same ingredient were about $3!
Many of the mulled cider and wine recipes call for fresh ginger. I decided to purchase crystallized ginger for my mix to get some of that yummy flavor while making use of a preserved, shelf-stable ingredient. I just chopped up the pieces into smaller bits.
Of course, you need cinnamon sticks! Again, consider buying these in bulk as you’ll save so much money.
You are going to break up the cinnamon sticks into small pieces. I did this by throwing a few into a plastic bag at a time and pounding with a meat cleaver. I then broke up any bigger pieces with my fingers. Wow, did my kitchen smell good at this point!
As you might imagine, you’re going to simply toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl. How pretty is this?
Now what to do with it? Well, I think you need a cute little jar to store it in! I found this one for 50% off at Hobby Lobby this week. But any food-safe glass jar such as a canning jar would also work nicely. Feel free to add ribbon and/or cute labels and turn this into a great hostess gift!
I can’t adequately describe how amazing these spices smell! Delicious and very holidays!
Ready to make yourself a cup of cider? All you need to do is add a tablespoon or two to a hot cup of apple cider (I just use the bottled stuff). I recently discovered these Tee Filters on Amazon and they work perfectly!
You just fill them with any dried tea mixture you have – such as this mulling mix. Alternately, you could use any form of tea strainer or cheesecloth you have on hand.
Steep for five minutes and serve. If you are making a larger batch, such as for a party, you could take more of the spices and wrap in a cheesecloth and simmer on the stove with a big pot of cider. But, I love that with this mulling mix, you have the option of just making a single cup at a time!
And – it’s absolutely delicious!
Of course, you can also use the mulling spices to make mulled wine, too. Simmer a bottle of red wine on the stove with about 1/2 cup of the spices in a cheesecloth. If you wish, you can add a splash of brandy, a little sugar to sweeten it, and serve with a fresh slice of orange.
All told, I spent $5.37 on spices (full disclosure: I already had dried orange peel on hand). I also spent $4 on my cute jar, but you could use any canning or food-safe jar you already have on hand for storage. I’d say that’s a real cost savings over the fancier spices you’d find in the store!