One advantage of making your own blend: You can tailor the flavors to your taste. Use the blend shortly after combining the ingredients to get the most flavor from the rind. Because the spices are steeped in liquid and then discarded, they add no calories to recipes. A small tin of these spices—along with a bottle of cabernet sauvignon and the recipe for Hot Mulled Wine—would make a welcome gift.
2 teaspoons whole allspice
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 (3 x 1-inch) strip orange rind
1. Combine all ingredients on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; tie securely.