DIY Mulled Wine Spice Bags
This year I’m going all out to do everything as super festive as possible, that I just didn’t get round to doing in previous years. I can’t quite believe I have managed to go through 24 years of my life without ever making my own mulled wine. And I only tried it for the first time last year at work!
I decided that not only would it be really fun to make this at home for my family to enjoy around Christmas, but it would be a thoughtful and handy gift for friends and work colleagues.
For each muslin spice bag
- 2 dried oranges
- 6 dried or fresh cranberries
- 6 cloves
- 6 cardamom pods
- 5 allspice (I couldn’t find any in the shops!)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 small pieces dried ginger
DIY Dried Orange Slices, Cranberries and Ginger
You can buy orange slices already dried for you online but I had the oranges at home, so I thought it would be fun to try making them myself. It’s actually a lot easier than I thought – last year I tried to make them without finding out how to do it first and ended up burning them in the oven. Slice up 2 oranges quite thinly but enough so that they still keep their shape. Lay on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper (they will stick without, I know from my 1st attempt!!) and place in the oven on the lowest setting (mine has a ‘slow cook’ setting which I used). Leave in the oven for up to 4 hours – yes I know, this seems ages but just pop them in and do something else and they’ll soon be ready. Turn the slices over after the first ten minutes the turn again every half an hour so they cook evenly and keep a flat shape. Once done, lay on a wire cooling rack for 5-10 minutes. Easy peasy!
For the cranberries, I used shop-bought dried cranberries which were a bit too soft, sticky and squidgy for my mulled wine bags. To dry them out, I popped in the oven, again on some greaseproof paper (don’t underestimate this stuff! It’s quite magical…) for an hour on the lowest setting. To dry the ginger, do the same as with the oranges – just ensure the pieces are not too big or thickly sliced so that they dry out evenly.
Making The Mulled Wine Spice Bags
Cut squares of muslin, allowing space for wrapping the spices up. Place the spices as listed above on top of the muslin, gather the sides and tie with ribbon. Add a label so the recipient knows what it is, and bask in their awe at your creativeness when you give it to them 🙂
Let me know if you try this, I’d love to hear what you think – please tweet me or comment below. Happy Christmas! x