DIY Spice Bags make a lovely, thoughtful gift, and can be adapted to suit the taste of the recipient. Any edible, dry herbs, spices and flowers can be added; here we have gone for Warming Christmas flavours, but combinations such as Mint and Chamomile, or Rosehip and Orange are equally delightful. A word of caution - many herbs have medicinal properties and may not be suitable for everyone. Sticking to flavour combinations that are commonplace (for example, ones you might see in the supermarket) would be my suggestion, unless you are knowledgeable in the use of dried herbs. I also recommend that you provide an ingredient list with any home-made items that you give away as gifts, so the recipient can make an informed choice to whether or not it is suitable for them.
Stick of cinnamon
2 Star Anise
3-4 Peices of Mace
6 Allspice Berries
Teaspoon of dried Orange Rind
We popped all of our spice into a Muslin Bag. and tied it securely. Alternatively you could simply tie it all up in a piece of muslin and tie with some kitchen string (bear in mind the blue string soup in Bridget Jone's Diary!) If giving as a gift, add a pretty tag with a recipe written on it.
Add it to a litre of Apple Juice and heat it slowly, leaving to infuse for an hour or so for the flavours to develop well. Serve pipping hot. This makes a lovely warming drink for both kids and adults, and can of course be adapted to taste.
In the US, apple juice is called cider, and what we refer to here in the UK as cider, would be hard cider. Happily both would work equally well in this recipe We dried our own orange rind for this recipe, it's so easy to do, please do check out our Drying Orange Slices and Peel tutorial. Our Spiced apple juice is also rather yummy with the addition of a tot of Rum, I am sure there are many other additions that would work equally as well