Mulling is the centuries old tradition of infusing spices into warmed up beverages and the typical spices used are allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and various fruit peels like orange or apple. Being a centuries old drink there is no better beverage than mead is for mulling.
You can buy mulling spices in grocery stores or online retailers and in various quantities ranging from 8-ounce containers to individually wrapped tea bags. Or you can make your own mulling spices to fit your taste by mixing equal portions of any or all of the spices except for the nutmeg; limit it to about half the quantity of any other ingredient. If you use 1 teaspoon of each ingredient use about one half teaspoon of the nutmeg. And with mulling you should experiment by adding amounts of apple peel, orange peel or even lemon peel. Add anything you think will give that holiday taste.
Mulling is very easy to do and you can follow any process that you would normally do for making tea. The process I follow is to wrap a couple of teaspoons in cheese cloth or spice bags and let it steep in a half bottle of mead while being heated on the stove. But I don’t bring it to a boil. Once it is hot I remove the bag of mulling spices and pour into glasses.
If you prefer not to make your own mulling spices you can easily purchase them from any fine grocery store (they are usually found in either the spice aisle or the tea aisle) or you can purchase them from online retailers. If you haven’t heard of mulling spices they aren’t rare and are easily available from many online retailers including amazon and they come in sizes ranging from individual tea bag sizes to eight-ounce containers.
When it comes to holiday beverages we are all very fond of eggnog, hot apple cider, and punch bowls. But if you want to serve something that will warm your guests and give them something to talk about try mulling some mead for them. You don't have to be a connosseur of wine and you will be pleasantly surprised by the taste and the reception you get. It adds a wonderful new twist to the usual holiday drinks and it is inexpensive and very easy to make. And because it is made with the ancient drink Mead you can tell your friends it's an ancient Viking Recipe!