Mulling Spices

By DKrause on Oct 19, 2017

Making mulling spices involves all of the senses so students can enjoy fragrance, texture, sound, color and of course taste. The tradition of simmering spices in hot cider for musical gatherings and holiday celebrations such as Thanksgiving is centuries old and began in Europe. This activity lets students mix the ingredients to make the spices, and then use those spices to make a mulled beverage later. It’s a perfect activity for a chilly autumn day, or for any time of year. Lessons include Math, English Language Arts, Social Skills, Social Studies, and Independent Living Skills.


  • Six cinnamon sticks (or ½ cup cinnamon chips)
  • ½ cup whole cloves
  • ½ cup whole allspice
  • Dried orange peel from half or whole orange – peel orange and leave peel out to dry, either on a drying rack or a paper towel. Break the peel into smaller pieces either before or after drying.
  • Small muslin bags (to hold the spices) – 3x5 works well, though slightly larger is also fine


Mulling is a process which infuses cider or juices with spices and fruit flavors. You can vary the ingredients; however, you will always have a delicious warm drink. A crock pot is an easy way to make a large batch of mulled drinks. Or you can simmer the mulled spices in the beverage you have chosen for 1-2 hours. Mulled spices also make wonderful gifts. This recipe makes 1 ½ cups of mulling spices

Mulling Spices

  • Explore, enjoy and savor each item: smell them, feel them, discuss the countries they come from.
  • Measure the ingredients (cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice and orange peel). You can choose to do this as an individual or a communal activity. For example, as a communal activity, each student would take a portion of each ingredient and put it in a common bowl, one at a time. As an individual activity, each student would have a supply of all the ingredients and mix them together in their own bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients together so they are well blended.
  • Place two tablespoons of the mixture in a small muslin bag. Tie the muslin bag closed.
  • When you’re ready to use them, add one bag to four cups of your choice of beverage (cider, juice, other).
  • Simmer until the flavors are absorbed. Remove the bag and enjoy the beverage.


Try different beverages with the mulling spices, for different flavors.

Mulling spices collage