An Easy Mulling Spices Recipe Ups the Ante on Hot Cider

At this point, the stage is totally set for your Christmas celebrations. Gifts have been wrapped and are under the tree, Christmas music is playing, appetizers are on the coffee table, and the kids are dressed in their holiday finery. But if you are suddenly invited to pop by a neighbor’s house for some holiday cheer and don’t want to arrive empty-handed, this mulling spices recipe from Kelsey Nixon, host of Cooking Channel’s “Kelsey Essentials” and author of “Kitchen Confidence” is the perfect very-very-last-minute gift.

And if you’re not in a jam for a quick gift, it will be an easy recipe to whip up for all to enjoy while unwrapping all those presents under the tree.

Kelsey’s Holiday Mulling Spices
Yield: 6 tea bags/sachets

4 1/2-inch pieces cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
4 black peppercorns
3 whole allspice berries
3 star anise pods
3 whole cloves
2 teaspoons dried orange zest

Combine the cinnamon sticks, cardamom, peppercorns, allspice, star anise, cloves and orange zest in a heavy-duty plastic zip-close bag. Crush the spices with a mallet or heavy object. Divide the spices evenly between 6 ready-to-fill tea bags or sachets. Store and gift in an airtight container; include the following recipe card:

Place homemade tea bag/sachet in a mug filled with hot cider and steep for 5 minutes.