There’s nothing quite like the comforting warm aroma of mulling apple cider when it’s cold and crisp outside to help herald the fall and warm up from the inside out!! A couple weeks ago I went to our local coop to run some errands – subsequently I left with a gallon of cider and a cup of piping hot mulled cider on a mission to go home and make some more! The smell of the spices and cider mingling hooked me when I walked in and I totally forgot what I was there for!! My mission became single focused. Get cider. Make mulling spices. Drink mulled cider. Forever.
This is my recipe for mulling spices that you can use with apple cider or wine or anything else you feel like mulling!! The beautiful thing about this recipe and the lineage of mulling is that you can augment and change the recipe to fit your tastes and highlight the liquid you’re working with and what herbs you have in your cupboard. This blend also makes a great gift as we move into the season of giving – it looks so beautiful in jars and all you need to do is add a little muslin bag and viola! Gift ready! The recipe below makes about 2-2.5 cups which is enough to mull several different batches of cider or fill several small mason jars for gifts or stocking stuffers!
· 4 whole nutmeg
· ½ cup cardamom pods
· ½ cup cinnamon (you can use the sweet chips or the sticks)
· ½ cup orange peel
· ½ cup palo santo chips
· ¼ cup ginger (dried or fresh)
· ¼ cup whole cloves
· ¼ cup allspice berries
· 2 vanilla beans broken into pieces
· handful star anise (leave out if you don’t like licorice flavor)
· handful of pink peppercorns
If you have an herb/spice grinder place the nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon sticks in it and grind into chunks. You don’t want to powder them. If you don’t have a spice grinder then place those herbs in a bag and whack them with a mallet or rolling pin until broken into pieces. Combine the nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon pieces with the rest of the herbs and toast in a cast iron skillet for a couple minutes just until you can start to smell the aroma of the herbs. Let the herb blend cool and store in a tightly sealed jar until you’re ready to use it!
To mull cider add your cider to a pot large enough to hold 8-10 cups. Add 6 cups of apple cider. In a reusable muslin bag add about a ¼ cup mulling spices and tie closed; toss this into the cider pot. Gently simmer for about 20 minutes, turn off and enjoy a warm cup of spiced autumnal joy!!