Apparently, many people make the same mistake of buying the cute packages when the spice mixture is so easy to make on your own! So I challenged him to a taste-off. If it's so darn easy to make, let's see what yours tastes like. Well, since a bit of time has passed I can tell you now: his was pretty darn good.
The thing with mulling spices is there is no hard-and-fast rule or formula to follow. Most of them have cinnamon stick, cloves, a few chunks of star anise and maybe a little citrus zest or peppercorns. You can experiment with the proportions, and really, you don't even need cheesecloth or any fancy materials to make it happen: you can simply warm your cider along with a bunch of loose spices and drain the whole thing at the end. A bonus: a splash of apple-flavored brandy like Calvados at the end brings the whole thing together.
Have you made your own mulling spices?
Related: How to Make Your Own Flavored Coffee
(Image: Megan Gordon)