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Mulling Spices Recipes:Warm Your Winter

Updated on December 31, 2011
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

There are almost as many mulling spices recipes as there are people who make them.  Everyone seems to have a slightly different way that they mix the traditional spices, or a secret ingredient to add.  All will agree though, a good mulling spice recipe is an important part of the winter season!

Mulling is the process of steeping whole spices and fruits in wine, cider, brandy, or juice.  This process developed in Europe centuries ago and is a part of many holiday celebrations.  Mulling is becoming more popular in other areas of the world, most notably the United States, as people rediscover the delicous taste of a hot, spiced drink.

Some recipes do not specify that sugar be added to the mulling spices.  The intent is to add sugar (or honey) to the drink when it is served.  Generally mulled drinks are expected to be sweet.  Plan on about 1/4 cup sugar to four  cups of the beverage you are making.

White sugar is not the only sweetener that can be used.  Some others are:

  • Turbinado sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Agave
  • Molasses
  • Honey
  • Stevia

SInce mulling spice recipes aren't rocket science feel free to adjust, add to, and generally make a recipe your own. 


Mulled beverages may be served in mugs, tea cups, or heat proof punch cups. Image (c)Marye Audet 2008
Mulled beverages may be served in mugs, tea cups, or heat proof punch cups. Image (c)Marye Audet 2008

Basic Mulling Spices Recipe

1 1/2 cups spice mixture 

  • 6 cinnamon sticks  
  • 1 small whole nutmeg 
  • 1 star anise, optional 
  • 1/2 c. whole cloves  
  • 1/2 c. whole allspice  
  • Grated peel of one whole orange
  • 1 Tablespoon candied ginger 

Break up the cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise and all spice with a hammer.  Mix all ingredients together and store for a week or so in a glass mason jar.  The storage time allows the flavors to blend. 

When you are read to use it place tow tablespoons of the spice mix in a small, muslin square and tie the top with twine.  Add the bag to four cups of beverage and simmer. 

The jars of spice make a nice Christmas gift, or give a pantry jar filled with the muslin bags all ready filled. 

Instant Mulling Spice Recipe

Some of you may know this as Russian Tea, but it is really a mulling blend, wonderful in black tea but also in apple juice or other hot beverage.

  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Tang
  • 2 tablespoons lemonade Koolade mix (not sugar free)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 4 tablespoons red hots candy

Mix well and add to four cups of your chosen beverage. Simmer for thirty minutes or more.

Beverage Suggestions for Mulling

  • Apple cider  
  • Cherry cider
  • Brandy 
  • Pear juice  
  • Cranberry juice  
  • Cran-raspberry juice
  • Burgundy
  • Port
  • Rum
  • Whiskey 
  • Orange juice  
  • Apricot juice
  • Grape juice 
  • Pineapple juice  
  • Pomegranate juice  
  • Mixture of juices  
  • Black tea 
  • Rooibus tea 
  • Red wine  

Directions for Mulling

Most people enjoy mulling beverages in a large crockpot. While you can use the stovetop, the crockpot makes it simple and easy to prevent boiling and scorching. Any mulled beverage can be made in the crockpot on low heat. Just make sure that wine or other alcoholic beverage never comes to the boil. Simmer for three hours and serve hot.

When making muslin bags make sure that everything you use is food grade. It is best to use organic dried fruit and spices as well. You do not need chemicals in your mulled drinks!


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    • profile image

      mrsshepherd 6 years ago

      Thanks so much for adding that youtube video, that's exactly what I needed for my potluck tonight!

    • Codenamemom profile image

      Codenamemom 9 years ago

      Umm......I can smell it, taste it, and feel it's warmth now! Thanks for the Hub!

    • profile image

      market solution 9 years ago

      With winter just around the corner, this sounds wonderful!

    • Scottie JD profile image

      Scottie JD 9 years ago

      Nice goodies for fall. thanks