homemade gift: mulling spice sachets

, originally uploaded by hrsj713.

after yesterday's post about the teabags, i got a few requests for mulling spice recipes, so here's a quick how-to for that.

cheesecloth and twine or japanese teabags
jars, tins or cellophane bags for presentation
labels or ribbons for decoration

ingredients (get all whole spices, not ground):
ceylon cinnamon sticks
dried orange zest

for sachets that are a bit more exotic, you can use:
star anise (that's the beautiful star-shaped spice in the photo)
tellicherry black peppercorns
candied ginger

for each sachet, use a 1/2-inch piece of cinnamon, 3 cloves, 4 allspice berries, and one strip of dried zest.

if you want to use star anise, be aware that a little goes a looooong way. for cardamom, crack 4 pods open and add them to the spices. for black peppercorns, use 4 per sachet. and one little nugget of candied ginger is plenty.

if you are using cheesecloth, cut 6-inch circles and place the spices in the middle of each round, then tie with twine.

if you are using the teabags, just stuff the bags with the spices.

put the sachets in jars, tins or cellophane bags, decorate with labels or ribbon, and you're good to go.

mulling spices are great for apple cider or red wine. if you are making mulled wine, you might want to add a bit of sugar to the wine when you heat it up. the great thing about the sachets is that you can make just one cup at a time, and don't have to wait for a holiday party to get the warmth of mulled drinks.

frontier for spices and herbs
whole foods also sells bulk spices and cheesecloth
tins from sks
ribbon from tail of the yak, paper source, or any fabric shop
last year, i used these key tags to label the packages
you can also try the t-sac