Mulled-Cider Sachets

I’ve been dreaming of an all-homemade holiday.  One where all gifts are made in the kitchen or someone knits me an afghan or some cashmere socks.  Can you knit cashmere socks?  I want a Norman Rockwell holiday, do those still exist?

However, my kids long for video games, remote control cars and basketball hoops, what can I say, they are normal.  Really, I need/want nothing (unless you count another tractor, fencing for my property and vineyard posts etc.), I would be happy with all homemade gifts.  I have always appreciated the jar of jam or cookies straight out of someone’s kitchen, it’s so much more meaningful to me.  I do not need another “thing”.

I came across these little sachets and thought they would be perfect to tuck into holiday cookie platters or give a set of three in a lovely mug.  I am a sucker for mulled cider this time of year and love the way it makes the house smell.

These little bouquet garni bags available from Sur La Table are perfect vessels for the spices as you can boil the bags right in the cider and remove the whole bag when done.  No mess to clean up.  Wrapping the spices in cheesecloth and tying with kitchen string would also work nicely.

Cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise and whole allspice is all you need.

This would make a nice hostess gift.

Mulled-Cider Sachets
Adapted from Real Simple

For each bag you will need-
2 cinnamon sticks
1 piece of star anise
1 Tablespoon whole allspice
1 Tablespoon whole cloves
1 bouquet garni bag or cheesecloth and kitchen string

Place the cinnamon, star anise, allspice and cloves in the bag.  Keep at room temperature for up to 6 months.

Include these instructions with your gift: “Simmer 1 sachet in 2 quarts apple cider for 15 minutes. 
Serves 8.”

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39 Comments and 1 Reply

  1. dawn 1

    Those are absolutely adorable. I would love to give these in sets of three, so cute. I also love gifts from the kitchen!

  2. The sachets are so appealing and would be very welcome here in our home. I know what you mean about gifts..I need nothing but do have a few wants. The gifts i truly cherish are the homemade or well-thought out ones that show someone really knows me enough to know what pleases me. That is a clue for me to do the same. Great post, and great idea for a present to tuck into a gift bag.

  3. nina 3

    This is brilliant, thx for sharing the idea…..I know exactly where I can find cheesecloth to make sachets…….

  4. Laura 4

    Cathy,
    Do you have to go to a “special” store for those spices?
    I love this idea.

  5. Laura 5

    That website Sur La Table? is out of the bags but I checked and TARGET has them for 9.99.

  6. Barbie with a T 7

    You come up with the most interesting ideas! You just gave me an idea. Today, we are experiencing a real winter blast and so therefore we are confined to the indoors. You gave me the idea to place a pot of hot apple cider to simmer on the stove and the inside will come alive with holiday spirit! Can you imagine snow on the beach today? It’s coming! Thanks for the idea today.

  7. I was racking my brains for the quantities of spices to make mulled Apple juice, and then I found your blog. Thank goodness. I can make some this evening.

    Those sachets would certainly be great gifts and they smell of Christmas too.

  8. I love this idea… I recently gave mulled wine a shot, and failed miserably…

    Maybe apple cider in place of wine… No brandy in the recipe though???

    • R L Jackson 10

      For easy mulled wine or cider use these ingredients:

      Use cinnamon or allspice to your taste. You can always add to, so start small. I use 2-3 big dashes right out of the shaker. To that add two pinches of cloves, ground, or better, use tiny tea or spice pouch and add whole cloves to it-tie it well. Add tiny bit of rum, any kind, and coconut rum makes this even better. If you love something like mango or pineapple, use chopped fresh fruit or a few prices of dried or candied fruit. Finally throw in a dash of ginger, and grated orange rind or few tblspoons of orange juice. Try it, then add to it. Let simmer on low or add straight to your liquid. If you’re not heating, you’ll. need longer for the flavors to mix. We used to make it with Tang, so you’d have all dry ingreds that you’d just spoon a few tbls into your base liquid, like a good red wine. You can put this dry mix into a little sachet, if you used dry mix like Tang, and attach to a mug or to a gift basket. The pieces of candied or dried fruit fill out the sachets, smell great, and look cute.

  9. Julia 11

    Love this idea! And the little sachet bags. I was in need of something like this when I was cooking for thanksgiving. I ended up using a coffee filter, filling it with spices, and then stapling it shut. Not the most elegant, but totally functional.

  10. Absolutely brilliant idea! I can just smell it bubbling away on the stove…oh wait, I’m supposed to make these and then give them away? *lol* Not sure all of them would make their way to other homes.

  11. This is an awesome gift idea.

    We, too, are leaning towards homemade gifts this year. I was thinking granola or hot fudge sauce, but these look pretty and are so easy!

  12. Noble Pig 14

    No, these spices are sold everywhere.

  13. dawn 15

    cath I have to share a funny story with you about these. we had a mouse die in the walls of the house we are in. and as you know the smell was awful. one of my clients told me to make one of these and let it sit on the stove and it will help get rid of the smell. it did, we did it for a few days until the smell was gone.

  14. Lisa Sipple 16

    These are downright darling, I am really cute. I think I’ll make some for my Bunco group.

  15. Noble Pig 17

    Thanks for letting us know.

  16. I love this! What a great idea for a hostess gift. Thanks.

  17. Ooh, me too! I am always in need of gifts for teachers and co-workers and neighbors…these would be great! I wish someone would give me homemade gifts, but I seem to be the only one who makes them around here, oh well!

  18. annbb 20

    Nice idea! Your photography just keeps getting better and better.

  19. Tammy 21

    I would love to get those as a gift!! I love the giving and receiving of handmade gifts too. Each year I try to give a couple, not sure if I’m going to succeed this year, unless I get busy!

  20. LilSis 22

    I LOVE these! I’m like you, I love giving homemade gifts and I love receiving homemade gifts. Unfortunately, most of us don’t start early enough to make something homemade for everyone on our list. My neighbors always get homemade treats. Something like this would be perfect!

  21. Marjie 23

    I too don’t need anything. Most adults don’t. I’m with you; homemade is good. (And, yes, a friend knit me socks! They are wonderful!)

  22. Oh, oh, oh, I’m sure these little spice bags would make a delicious spiced wine too. Lovely gift idea.

  23. Mary 25

    What a great idea. These would be wonderful “token” gifts to have on hand for drop-ins during the holiday. You always have such great ideas and are generous in sharing them with us.

  24. What a cute idea. If I can find those little bags already made then I’m all over this one this year!

  25. I love mulled cider, particularly with a shot or two of rum in it! Brandy works nicely too.

    I found found that when I want to steep small spices, that a tea ball works pretty well. It doesn’t hold a cinnamon stick, but those are easy enough to fish out.

    I want a Norman Rockwell Christmas too! Okay, maybe I sometimes want non-homemade gifts, but I do want lots of pretty decorations (that don’t include cartoons or movies or TV shows) and home cooked dinners that blow the guests away. I’ve been longing for that more and more as the years go and and yet most years I don’t even have the time and money to buy a tree.

    This year at least, I’m getting a tree. In fact, I’m going tree shopping tomorrow!

  26. Liz C. 28

    What a lovely idea! I always love the simple ideas best…

  27. Laura 30

    When I saw the Anise stars at Safeway yesterday, I realized how silly my question was….oh well.

  28. I love to make homemade goodies for gifts. Last year I made ginger pear jam and scones mixes with recipes. Everyone loved that they were made from home.

    This is just lovely especially in the pretty bags. Your photos are terrific as well.

  29. Ruthanne in Seattle 32

    Thanks so much Cathy. I love your ideas here, especially for the chai! And, by the way. . . you can make cashmere socks, what a great idea!

  30. I’ve never had mulled cider.
    Yeah, I lived a sheltered life. tee hee

  31. OMG–I love this idea too! And I love mulled cider–we’ve been drinking a lot of it around here!

  32. megan 35

    I’m with you on the homemade Christmas. My daughter, too is normal and wants an Ipod Touch and a laptop so she’s out, but all my friends are getting homemade gifts. In fact, I got 4 jars of that cranberry Tangerine Chutney yo made to gift away. But It’s hard to give away cause I loved that stuff!!! LOL
    These are just adorable!

  33. thanks for showing us the Mulled-Cider Sachets in a different way, that is really a great idea, keep it up.

    thanks and regards to all.

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  35. Joan Callaway 39

    I’ve just finished my 8th pair of socks, 5th beanie, and about to bind off my first pair of fingerless gloves…been stockpiling those homemade gifts. No cashmere though…wonder how it wears?

    Mulled cider sachets are a great idea! We love home-made gifts!

  36. Jean 40

    If you look in the “ethnic” section of your supermarket, you should be able to find these spices sold in cellophane bags much cheaper than in the regular spices section.

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