How to Make Mulling Spices for Mulled Cider and Mulled Wine

Around the holidays, we love to drink mulled cider or mulled wine. You can easily make your own mulling spices with this recipe!

Nothing says holidays as much as the smell of mulling spices! The warm scents of cinnamon, clove, star anise wafting through the house.

Whether you like to drink mulled cider or mulled wine, it’s very easy to make those spices at home. Keeping them in a pretty jar, they’ll be ready to go when you are.

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What is mulled cider or mulled wine?

All you do it add mulling spices to hot apple cider or hot wine.

Growing up in Germany, we often had mulled wine. Obviously not as kids – then we had mulled cider! Germans love their Glühwein which literally translates as “glow wine”. Maybe because you start glowing when you drink it?

The Swedish have Glögg which is very similar. However, it has raisins and nuts in it, too. In Britain, it is mulled wine, mulled cider, or mulled ale.

And I get it. Usually, the winters are long and dark in those countries. That is when people gather at home, get all cozy, and imbibe. It’s nice how it warms you from the inside out.

cider with mulling spices

Traditional mulling spices

As with many recipes, there are a whole lot of variations. I like to keep things simple. From there you can always add more. And feel free to play with the ratios of the spices!

Cinnamon – this is inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree and the classic Christmas spice. Everyone loves cinnamon. And the smell of cinnamon! Therefore, this spice is the main player in this recipe.

Cloves – are dry flower buds and add a bit more punch.

Star anise – is a beautiful star-shaped fragrant spice. It is very common in Chinese five spice mixes but works beautifully in mulling spice recipes.

Orange rind – this gives the mulling spice a bit of a fruity aroma. Just make sure to get organic oranges!

cinnamon stick, cardamon, cloves, star anise seed, and dried orange peels on a plate

Mulling spice recipe

You can use all these spices whole or crushed. I don’t recommend ground. Mix the spices in a pretty jar, give it a good shake and that’s it.

I like to use about

1 round tablespoon of crushed cinnamon bark

4-5 crushed star anis

1 tsp of crushed cloves

2 teaspoons of cardamom pods

1 rounded tablespoon of dried orange peel

Once you mix this up, add 1- 2 teaspoons to about 4 cups of cider or wine (a light French wine usually works best). Gently bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. I don’t recommend a roaring boil. Just a gentle simmer.

If you’re using whole spices, simmer your drink for at least 30 mins. If you’re using crushed spices, you can start tasting it after about 10 minutes.

mulling spices in apple cider in stainless steel pot

Obviously, you can gently simmer your cider or wine all day long. Just make a bigger quantity and sip away. As an added bonus, your house will smell heavenly!

mulling spice mix in small lidded glas jar
homemade mulling spices
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Mulling Spice

This traditional spice mix is perfect for making mulled cider or mulled wine
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 jar
Calories: 30kcal
Cost: $4


  • 1 TBSP crushed cinnamon bark
  • 4-5 whole star anise, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed cloves
  • 2 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 TBSP dried orange peel (organic)


  • Lightly crush the spices. Alternatively, you can leave them whole.
  • Mix and add them to a pretty jar.
  • Add about 1-2 tsp of this spice mix to about 4 cups of apple cider or wine (try a light French wine).
  • Heat over medium-low heat. Gently simmer for at least 10 mins but letting it simmer longer makes your house smell wonderful!
  • Strain and pour into cups. Optional: you can add some rum to the mulled cider for an adult drink.
    hot mulled cider


  • this recipe works great with apple cider or white or red whine


Calories: 30kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @ourgabledhome or tag #ourgabledhome!
hot mulled cider

You might also enjoy my tutorial on how to make eggnog at home!

What is your favorite mulled drink? Let me know in the comments below!

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How to make Mulling Spices for mulled cider and mulled wine


  1. Why have I never thought of making mulled cider before? That’s a great idea! And mulled wine? Classic. Can’t wait to try your blend 🙂

  2. I love the pictures and the idea of being all warm and cozy at home with a cup of mulled wine. I can’t wait to try this!

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