If fall had a taste, it would no doubt include flavors like cinnamon and cranberry. It explains why mulled beverages, which often incorporate these, are so popular this time of year. “Mulling means heating a drink in a pot with mulling spices and then straining,” explains Jennie Ripps, co-founder and CEO of Owl’s Brew, a company that makes hard tea seltzer. “Mulled beverages are most commonly made with a combination of spices including cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and dried fruit.” From wine to tea to hot cider, mulled beverages made with this classic combination of spices can be traced back to the 2nd century, when the Romans traveled with heated and spiced wines, explains Ripps.
Perhaps their appeal is due in part to their incredible health benefits: They are antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory. “Cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, all possess antibacterial properties. It’s a pretty powerful combination of flavors and ingredients,” says Ripps. For a modern take, Owl’s Brew just launched their newest flavor, spiced chai and cranberry, this fall. “The inspiration came from mulling spices,” says Ripps. “It’s the idea that we could create a delicious, clean boozy beverage that has that delicious blend of spices, but is refreshing and bubbly.”