Homemade Mulling Spices

Monday, October 10, 2016


Can you feel it?  It’s coming. Pushing out the warm sultry days of late summer and replacing it with crisp cool days that glow like gold. It’s creeping closer…softly…silently…like little cat feet.


It’s October!!!


October is my soul month, truly. And, if you’ve read this blog for long you’ve read lots of stories about my love of October. It’s the time of year that I feel the most alive, while at the same time feeling the most at home. I love everything about it—the way the afternoon sun turns golden and bathes the world in soft hues of amber, while the leaves shower down in shades of orange, red and umber; how the crisp air smells as it pushes summer out of its way. Or, the way pine and firewood smoke mingle and hang like a fragrant curtain.

October is a time for fall festivals, trips to local apple farms, hard cider tasting (and not so hard cider tasting), and searching for the perfect pumpkin to adorn our house. It is also a time when friends get together around a warm fireplace and turn a simple soup or stew dinner into a truly memorable evening. And, let’s not forget the array of hot toddies to keep the fall chill at bay.

Yep, October starts a fall season that is all about food, friends, family and merriment.

I break out my pumpkin scented candles, keep a big fire going whenever I’m home, and load up the slow cooker, but most of all I love to have a pot of mulling spices ready for a warm your soul cider concoction.


Can you smell the nutmeg cloves, orange, cinnamon, and apple cider? 


Isn’t it heavenly?


It really sets the mood of a warm and inviting home, even if you’re not mulling cider or wine. Add the smell of a rich pumpkin pecan bread and you’ve got me hanging out at home all day! It’s that relaxing.

Our annual trip to the apple farms sets this scene in motion when we come home laden down with pounds of heritage apples and gallons of fresh pressed apple cider.

Looking towards the parties and cold weather ahead I mix up a batch of homemade mulling spices. I store mine in a canning jar and make a few 4-ounce jars to give as hostess gifts. They are unique and very much liked. This recipe makes eight 4-ounce jars.


Mulling Spice Mix





16 cinnamon sticks broken into pieces

4 whole nutmeg pods, smashed to pieces with the flat side of a meat mallet

½ cup whole cloves

¼ cup whole all allspice

½ cup dried orange peel

1 cup candied ginger, chopped



Place 2 or 3 pieces of cinnamon stick in the bottom of each jar. In a medium bowl, combine the nutmeg, cloves, allspice, dried orange peel and candied ginger.

Scoop mixture into each jar and close with the canning lid.

To make a mulling spice sachet:  place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the spice mixture into empty clothe sachet or tea bags and tie closed, leaving some headspace.


TO MAKE MULLED APPLE CIDER:  pour a ½ gallon of apple cider into a slow cooker and add 1 mulled spice bag. Allow to simmer for several hours before drinking. Keep slow cooker on low to keep cider warm. (Mulled cider can also be made on the stove top, but it takes longer. With the slow cooker you can add all in the ingredients and walk away; leaving the cider to do its business while filling the house with a wonder fall aroma.

To serve a “grown-up” version, adding a splash of Calvados before serving brings the whole thing together.

TO SERVE:  Ladle hot mulled cider into mugs.

NOTE:  One of the great things about making your own mulling spices is that you can tailor the mix to fit your tastes. Experiment with different combinations and make your own version.

Leave a Reply