One thing I crave during the holidays when it’s cold outside is a warm mug of mulled cider or wine. I especially enjoy making a large batch during family gatherings for Thanksgiving or Christmas because it makes the house smell cozy and festive while it’s on the stove. I always keep the heat on low so people can come back for more throughout the evening until it’s gone.
I’m especially excited this year because I’m preparing gift packets of mulling spices for my friends and family so they can make it at home. As far as simple gifts go, these single-serving sized packets are quick and easy to prepare once you have all your spices on hand. My local grocery store sells whole spices in bulk, but you can order them online from shops like Penzeys Spices or Whole Spice if you can’t find them locally.
To prepare individual mulling spice packets, you’ll need to:
Gather Your Materials
• Muslin drawstring pouches or sachets
• Whole cinnamon sticks, broken into smaller pieces
• Allspice Berries
• Dehydrated or candied orange peels
Optional Spices to Include:
• Green cardamom pods
• Whole peppercorns
• Candied ginger
Package the Spices
You’ll want to make sure your packets contain around two tablespoons of spices per pouch to create a single serving. Start by adding equal parts cinnamon, allspice, and orange peel, then go back and add a pinch of cloves, and any optional spices you’d like to include, to each pouch.
Add a Tag and Label with Instructions
To prepare your pouches to give as gifts, attach a personalized tag. I used red and gold colored personalized tags and labels in the style Mele Kalikimaka. Also, make sure you include instructions for making mulled cider or wine. I typed my instructions on matching text labels, attached them to a white sheet of cardstock, and used edging scissors to create a decorative look.
My instructions say:
To Make Mulled Cider or Wine:
Heat 1/2 gallon of cider or wine in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the contents of this pouch, and allow the mixture to simmer, but not boil, for twenty to thirty minutes until it has warmed through. Add a splash of brandy or sugar to taste (optional). Strain liquid into mugs, and garnish with a cinnamon stick or a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg. Serve hot, and enjoy!
Once you’ve attached your tag and instruction label, your mulling spice packets are ready to give away as gifts!
Tip: Crush the bag a little between your palms before gifting to reignite the oils. It’ll make your pouches smell amazing!
More holiday gift ideas from Lindsay Jewell…
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