Welcome to day 2 of 15 days of Handmade Gifts ~ wonderful gift tutorials for the holiday season. Today we have a super creative guest ~ Adrianne from Happy Hour Projects. She has put together a great little DIY post on Mulling Spices. It is a divine holiday gift that would be perfect for a hostess gift, moms or mom-in-laws, neighbors…or even to treat yourself!
Today’s sponsor is Windsor Hills Wicks and Lather, be sure to stop by and pay them a visit, they have some beautiful items that would make terrific Christmas gifts!
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Hi! I’m Adrianne, and I blog at Happy Hour Projects. I’m a mom, wife, writer and volunteer who also juggles a full-time job. That’s why I focus on quick crafts and recipes that you can make in an hour or less.
You’ll find a little bit of everything at Happy Hour – sewing, crafts, jewelry, recipes, DIY beauty solutions – all step-by-step photo tutorials showing you how to make it yourself! I love taking a short time out a few times a week to be creative, and I love to share what I’ve been working on! I’m happy Lisa is allowing me to be here today to share with her readers, too!
Cooler weather is here, and if you’re like me, then you love making – and gifting – delicious goodies. I think it’s such a comfort on a chilly day to hold a warm mug of something yummy! Today I’m going to show you how to make up packets of mulling spices – these are great holiday hostess gifts. Mulling spices are a wonderful addition to wine, cider, or juice.
Now, I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying mulled wine or cider, but if your giftee doesn’t happen to like those things, the spice blend itself is still wonderful. It can also be used as a drawer sachet or boiled in water on the stovetop to naturally add fragrance to their home.
You will need whole spices (not ground, I mean) for today’s recipe, which does make it a little bit pricey! But this recipe makes 6 pouches of mulling spice, so once you divide it up, it’s much less expensive than buying a gift mix. Just shop around. In my area, Target had the best prices for whole spices (which I unfortunately discovered after I paid a few dollars more at my usual grocery store).
Yield: 6 batches
3 Tbsp. whole cloves
3 Tbsp. allspice berries
12-15 cinnamon sticks
Dried peel from 3 oranges (you can dry it by leaving it out for a few days, or bake it in a very low oven for a couple hours if you don’t have that much time)
Optionally, if you happen to have some whole nutmeg or ginger (or crystallized ginger), you can crack the nutmeg and thinly slice the ginger, and add 1 Tablespoon of either or both to the clove/allspice mixture to enhance the recipe. I omit these, normally, just to keep costs down. But any additions you enjoy may certainly be added!
Stir the cloves and allspice together. In a separate bowl, break the cinnamon sticks into pieces. They don’t have to be small pieces, I just break mine in half to fit into the pouches.
For each pouch, cut 2 rectangles 4″ x 8″. (I honestly just left mine doubled up and cut them 4″ x 16″, and folded it in half.)
Fold your rectangle in half.
Using a zigzag stitch, sew along each open side, making an open pouch. Add 1 Tbsp. of the allspice/clove mixture, and 2 to 2-1/2 sticks of cinnamon. (Because I break mine in half, I add 5 halves, personally.) Then, add the peel from 1/2 an orange to the pouch. There’s really no exact measurement for the orange peel… I just divide up whatever I have by 6.
Now, take your filled pouch back to your sewing machine, and sew it shut along the open top.
You should now have a fully-enclosed pouch. If you are using these for yourself personally, you are done! They will keep for about a year in the cupboard. If you plan to store them, you should put them in some sort of sealed container to be sure pests don’t get to them and to preserve the freshness.
If you are planning to gift them, you should add some instructions. I just printed off labels on my printer, and sewed them on the corners – just enough to be secure, but easy enough to remove when it’s time to use them.
I keep these on-hand for hostess gifts (to be delivered with a bottle of wine, of course!) and to add to goodie baskets – they make a great addition to a gift of homemade bread.
You will want to include the following instructions (or set them aside for your own use!)
Each pouch will mull 1/2 gallon of cider or juice, or 1 – 750ml bottle of wine.
Add spice pouch to cider or juice and heat on low (do not boil). Steep for 30-60 minutes. Remove spice pouch and serve hot!
Add spice pouch, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 cup sugar to bottle of wine and heat on low (do not boil – keep under 160F degrees). Steep for 30-60 minutes. Remove spice pouch. Optionally, add a splash of rum or brandy, and serve hot!
Now, if you’re looking at this tutorial thinking – yes, but I don’t sew! You can still make a nice pouch of mulling spices. Just cut a larger square of cheesecloth, add your spices to the center (you will want to break up the cinnamon more if you do it that way), and knot it off securely at the top. If you make it this way, you can tie on a nice tag for your gift recipient. Be sure to let them know that the pouch should stay closed.