Mulling Spices

Ingredients

  • Organic Cinnamon, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Allspice, Organic Cloves, Organic Ginger

Origin​

  • Country of origin differs for each spice

Form

  • Cut & sifted

Certification

  • Organic, Kosher

Typical Use

  • Fall, Winter

Background

  • Mulling Spices are used mostly during the Christmas season to make Glühwein, a traditional German hot wine beverage. One mixes mulling spices with a good-quality, full-bodied wine (mostly red). Alternatively, mixing mulling spices with hot apple cider creates a beautiful wintery drink. Since Glühwein has historic importance, that's where we focus.

  • Glühwein has only recently been developed (first mentioned in 1843) and is considered a german-speaking European, seasonal beverage. While Glühwein is always wine-based, a hot, sweet, spicy, alcoholic winter beverage existed for thousands of years in the form of Met (aka honey wine, Meade, Mjöd). Honey wines were actually not wine but honey- and water-based. They were very popular across all of Northern Europe all the way through the Middle Ages, at which time, they were replaced by a beverage that was "cheaper and easier" to produce. That beverage was wine. It stands to reason that Met was the ancestor to today's Glühwein.

Cooking

  • Glühwein and hot apple cider are great beverages while winter barbequing but that's about the limit of mulling spices' use for cooking. 

Cultural​

  • Glühwein is the traditional drink for every German Christmas Market (always held outside in the weeks leading up to Christmas). 

​Spiritual

  • Today, Glühwein's spiritual impact is limited to over joyous celebrations at Christmas Markets. However, the ancestral beverage Met has enormous spiritual relevance across Northern Europe. Met is considered a gift of the gods in old German and Nordic mythology and described in detail in the "Edda" (first known written record of Germanic and Nordic mythology, including the Niebelungen Saga).

Medicinal​

  • The traditional ingredients include highly potent spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, and ginger that each have significant and beneficial medicinal properties (probably enhanced at the higher temperature). We have listed the specifics under each of those spices.

Recipes

  • Glühwein - One mixes approximately 1/8 of a cup of mulling spices with a quart of good-quality, full-bodied wine (mostly red). Heat briefly up to 170 Degrees Fahrenheit (not higher), add sugar to taste and maintain a temperature somewhere above 100 Degrees Fahrenheit (for at least 20 minutes). Strain before serving in a mug. Add a shot of brandy if the evening at the Christmas Market is particularly cold.

  • Hot Apple Cider - Conceptually, the same recipe as above, but start with Apple Cider. Add Apple Schnapps at the end if it's cold outside.

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Copyright © 2020 Five Continent Spices

Santa Cruz, CA, United States

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(408) 714-0009