Here at Chiot’s Run I like to be prepared by keeping a few little gifts on hand for last minute holiday parties or surprise guests. If you’re in need of a quick hostess gift or something for a gift exchange a mix of mulling spices in a pretty jar is a great option. They can be used for cider and wine. This year I decided it would be my gift of choice for friends & holiday parties. This is super quick and simple to make, as long as you have all the spices on hand, which I always do. You can even customize it to the person you’re giving it to or to your own tastes. I use the same recipe for these jars as I use for my own cider. I keep all of the organic spices on hand since I buy in bulk from Mt Rose Herbs. The vanilla beans I get very inexpensively from Saffron.com.
These are also fairly inexpensive. I spent more on the jar itself than the spices inside. I could have used regular canning jars, but I really wanted to make look a little different. I also thought these beautiful little jars would be ones that people would save and reuse as well.
CHIOT’S RUN MULLING SPICE MIX
I don’t like the flavor of citrus in my cider, if you do feel free to add orange peel. You can also add dried ginger chunks or nutmeg if you like, use what you’ve got on hand and what you like to use.
4 Tablespoon cinnamon chips
4 Tablespoon allspice berries
1 Tablespoon cloves
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns
8 cardamom pods slightly crushed
1 vanilla bean cut into small pieces
Mix spices in small half pint jar, label and give away with directions: Mix 1 Tablespoon of mulling spice for every 2 cups of cider or wine, heat till almost boiling, reduce heat and steep for 30 minutes, enjoy.
I have a few other ideas for quick gifts over on my blog today in case you’re interested.
Do you have any great quick last minutes gifts that you make to keep on hand?
I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.