25 cinnamon sticks, ea. 2 inches long (about 3 ounces) 6 whole nutmegs (1 ounce) 1/3 cup each: chopped dried orange and lemon peel (drying instructions follow) 1/4 cup each whole allspice and whole cloves 2 tablespoons finely chopped, crystalized ginger (optional) Put cinnamon sticks and nutmeg in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or bottom of a small heavy skillet until broken in small pieces. (The nutmeg will be quite stubborn.) Mix with remaining ingredients. Keep the mix in a glass jar until ready to use. Alternatively, you could place 3 generous tablespoons of the mix in a 5-inch square of cheescloth and tie the bundle with string. I don't care for this method as I've found you end up with little floaters of the cheesecloth "string" in the final mulled concoction. I prefer to put some of the mix in a silver tea ball instead. The actual mulling recipe follows: Stir 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add 3 1/4 cups of wine (red or white) and the spice bag or teaball filled with spice mix. Reduce heat to low, cover and heat very gently until mixture is very hot but not boiling (about 20 minutes). To mull apple juice, add a spice bag to 8 cups of apple juice. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 to 35 minutes. I've also been told that mulled cranberry juice is quite good, but I haven't tried it yet. To dry citrus peel: With a vegetable peeler, remove the colored part of peel from 2 large oranges and 4 lemons. Place in single layer on plate; cover with a paper towel and let stand at room temperature 1 day or until dried. Snip in small pieces with kitchen shears or chop course.
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