Mulling Spices – Easy Cocktail Spice Mix

Mulling Spices
Mulling Spices

What Are The Best Spices For Mulling?

Mulling spices can be whatever you want them to be. There is no actual recipe, just a group of ingredients to select from that will give you the flavor profiles you want from your mulled drink. Are you looking to make it more dry and spicy, or are you looking for more herbal flavors? Your traditional mulling spices are:

  1. All Spice Berries
  2. Cloves
  3. Cinnamon Stick
  4. Orange Peels
  5. Star Anise
  6. Coriander Seeds
  7. Ginger
  8. Cardamom
  9. Black Peppercorns

What Are The Right Amount Of Mulling Spices?

Think Christmas or Indian spices, or something like chai tea. Don’t put all of those in, though. You want to pick 4 or 5 tops; otherwise, the spices overwhelm the drink. Almost all mulling spices I’ve ever seen have cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange peels. Not that you have to stick to that, but those three are almost always used. Pick one more item to add or two if you’re feeling crazy. Word of caution, do not add too much spice. It’s straightforward to toss in a bit too much. How much is reasonable? Very little. Alcohol effectively extracts oils and emulsifies fats (hence why wine is commonly used to deglaze a pan). As a result, what will feel like too few spices is the right amount since more of the oils locked inside are being extracted.

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Mulling Spices

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

5

kcal
Total time

5

minutes

A list of common mulling spices. Only pick 4 or 5 spices from this list. Using all the listed spices would be overwhelming.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 whole All Spice Berries

  • 4-5 whole Cloves

  • 1 stick Cinnamon Stick

  • 2 peels Orange Peels

  • 1-2 whole Star Anise

  • 5-6 whole Coriander Seeds

  • 1 small chunk Ginger

  • 2-3 whole Cardamom Pods

  • 5-6 whole Black Peppercorns

Directions

  • Select 4 or 5 of the above spices depending on the flavors you want to infuse into your drink.
  • Use the suggested amounts listed above to avoid overwhelming the drink. A little goes a long way.
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Cocktails That Use Mulling Spices

Hot Apple Cider – Easy Dry Cider Recipe

Mulled Apple Cider Cocktail
Mulled Apple Cider Cocktail

Mulled Apple Cider came around 40 – 50 AD when the Romans made it to what is modern-day England. Brewed apple cider was a popular Celtic drink in the area, and the invading forces brought it back to Rome. The Romans had a tradition of brewing herbs into their wine (Hippocras) for flavor and medicinal properties. They applied that to cider, thus creating mulled or spiced cider. Read my apple cider ingredient description first but pick the cider you want based on what you want your final product to be most like and how you want to layer your flavors. I think the sparkling cider apple juice stuff is way too sweet. I save that for the kids. The orchard unfiltered apple juice stuff is pretty good but just a little too sweet. So you can’t add your sweeteners like maple syrup or honey etc. This limits your ability to add complexity. I prefer to make this with a semi-dry cider beer or still apple wine. These give you room to build more of your flavors and bring an excellent brewed and aged taste that the unfiltered stuff lacks. Regular cider-style beer works well for this too. The bubbles dissipate after a few minutes, and you just left with essentially a still apple wine. So before your next holiday party, get a variety pack of ciders. See what you like, and then buy a six-pack of the stuff. Also, a six-pack is almost equal to 3 bottles of wine, so keep that in mind, and don’t just add all six beers or adjust accordingly.

Next up is spices. Long story short, just read my mulling spices description. It can be summed up as not adding too much and sticking to just four different spices. Think cooking; you wouldn’t add a shit ton of salt or pepper to your fried eggs. It would be too much, so you do a light sprinkle. The same thing with this: add 2 or 3 cloves, three cinnamon sticks, etc. A little bit goes a very long way.

Next up is cooking. Most folks do this in a crockpot, so I would just set it to warm. High, low, and simmer are all too hot. Alcohol burns off at 173 f (78 c), and high, low, and simmer all go to around 180 – 200 f. High gets there faster than low and simmer, but warm only goes to 160 f. You can do a slow cooker if you want, but keep in mind that you will burn off most of the booze even at a warm temperature if you cook it for a long time. I think it boils better if you do it faster in a regular stovetop pot. Turn on the fire, pour it into the pot and quickly bring it to heat. If you have a thermometer, stop around 160 or till you start to see a light vapor coming off the top. Once your hooch is up to temp, drop it to low, add your sweetener and spices, and then cook for just 20 minutes. Most of the good flavors in your spices will come out in those first few minutes. Turn off the heat, add your bourbon, and serve. And that’s it. Serve it, put a lid on it, put it in a thermos, reheat it when you want more a little later, but stop the long-term higher temperature cooking. Some folks cook this stuff for hours, but I think that’s a little excessive. You won’t get any more good flavor out of it, and you will burn off the booze.

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Download The Official Vintage American Cocktails App

Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the ingredients you have. Check out the Vintage American Cocktail app.

Dry Mulled Apple Cider

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

149

kcal
ABV

15%

Total time

3

minutes

Learn how to make a dry, boozy mulled apple cider.

Ingredients

  • 6.5 oz Honey

  • 1 bottle Apple Cider Wine

  • 8.5 oz Bourbon

  • 2 whole All Spice Berries

  • 3 whole Cloves

  • 1 peel Orange Rind

  • 1 whole Cinnamon Stick

Directions

  • Combine spices, honey, and wine in a stove top pot and heat to 71c (160f) or till vapor starts to appear.
  • Maintain this temperature and cook for about 20 minutes. Don’t over cook this as the flavors will become too strong and most of the alcohol will burn off.
  • After 20 minutes turn off the heat and remove the spices.
  • Add the fortifying spirit to the mulled wine and serve.

Notes

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If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

  • Free and simple step by step videos.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.


Mulled Wine – Make An Outstanding, Easy Classic Recipe

Mulled Wine Cocktail
Mulled Wine Cocktail

This may be the oldest drink in this app because it dates back to the Romans. They had a spiced wine they called Hippocras. Unfortunately, there are no actual recipes for it. At least that I could find. It was not till the 1300s that the English and French started to specify the spices to use, and it’s basically what we still use today. This is NOT a hippocras recipe; this is a more modern, more palatable spiced wine you would expect to find in a standard cocktail app.

Now the drink. Pick a medium dry wine. If it’s already sweet, you can’t add your sweeteners like maple syrup or honey. This limits your ability to add complexity. These give you room to build more of your flavors. Next up is spices. Long story short, just read my mulling spices description. It can be summed up as not adding too much and sticking to just four different spices. Think cooking; you wouldn’t add a shit ton of salt or pepper to your fried eggs. It would be too much, so you do a light sprinkle. The same thing with this: add 2 or 3 cloves, three cinnamon sticks, etc. A little bit goes a very long way.

Next up is cooking. Most folks do this in a crockpot, so I would just set it to warm. High, low, and simmer are all too hot. Alcohol burns off at 173 f (78 c), and high, low, and simmer all go to around 180 – 200 f. High gets there faster than low and simmer, but warm only goes to 160 f. You can do a slow cooker if you want, but keep in mind that you will burn off most of the booze even at a warm temperature if you cook it for a long time. I think it boils better if you do it faster in a regular stovetop pot. Turn on the fire, pour it into the pot and quickly bring it to heat. If you have a thermometer, stop around 160 or till you start to see a light vapor coming off the top. Once your hooch is up to temp, drop it to low, add your sweetener and spices, and then cook for just 20 minutes. Most of the good flavors in your spices will come out in those first few minutes. Turn off the heat, fish out the spices, add your bourbon, and serve. And that’s it. Serve it, put a lid on it, put it in a thermos, reheat it when you want more a little later, but stop the long-term higher temperature cooking. Some folks cook this stuff for hours, but I think that’s a little excessive. You won’t get any more good flavor out of it, and you will burn off the booze.

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Download The Official Vintage American Cocktails App

Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the ingredients you have. Check out the Vintage American Cocktail app.

Mulled Wine

0 from 0 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes
Course: DrinksCuisine: American
Servings

1

servings
Calories

143

kcal
ABV

15%

Total time

0

minutes

Learn how to make an outstanding Mulled Wine.

Ingredients

  • Pick 4 or 5 of the following All spice berries, cloves, cinnamon stick, orange peels, star anise, coriander, ginger, cardamom, black peppercorns

  • 6 oz Honey

  • 12 oz Brandy

  • 1 Bottle Red Wine

Directions

  • Combine spices, honey, and wine in a stove top pot and heat to 71c (160f) or till vapor starts to appear.
  • Maintain this temperature and cook for about 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes turn off the heat and remove the spices.
  • Add the brandy to the mulled wine and serve.

Notes

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Make Cocktails Like A Pro

If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.

  • Free and simple step by step videos.
  • Tips and tricks from years of experience.
  • Historically accurate and balanced recipes.