Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine – Drink and Be Merry

Mulled Wine is one of the best ways to stay warm this autumn and winter. What is mulled wine? In short it’s warm spice infused wine. According to science, mulled wine dates back to a time where people were cold but still wanted to party. After a couple of glasses of this warm wine someone decided to throw in spices.  This is irrefutable history.

Now mulled wine is pretty simple to make, yet some of the essential ingredients are always annoyingly missing from your spice pantry, and if they are not missing chances are you used them the last time you mulled wine back in 2006. Trash them. The Fair Seas Spice Co. has solved this problem by assembling an all inclusive mulled wine spice kit. Our Mulled Wine Spice Kit includes 100% Fairtrade certified cinnamoncardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla, along with ethically sourced bay leaves and star anise.

While there are many mulled wine recipes, this one is tried, tested, and pretty awesome.

First what you’ll need:

  • The Fair Seas Spice Co. Mulled Wine Kit
  • 1 orange or two Clementines
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 200g of Sugar (or less if you you prefer a less sweet drink)
  • 2 Bottles of red wine
  • a Nutmeg grater (any fine grater will do)

What you need to do:

  1. Open up your Fair Seas Spice Co. Mulled Wine Spice Kit and pour the spices into a bowl; remove the star anise, nutmeg and vanilla.
  2. Halve the vanilla bean lengthwise using a sharp knife and return to bowl
  3. Using a vegetable peeler, remove large portions of the citrus peels.
  4. Over medium heat add your sugar to a large saucepan along with the citrus peels, the bowl of spices, and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg.
  5. Squeeze in the orange or Clementine juice
  6. Add just enough wine to cover the ingredients and let simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  7. Bring to a rolling boil, about 4 to 5 minutes, until you’re left with a thick and fragrant syrup. This syrup base will add amazing flavour to the mulled wine.
  8. Reduce heat to low, add the star anise and the remainder of the wine and let simmer until nice and warm (DO NOT BOIL, this will evaporate the alcohol and no one wants that to happen, NO ONE)

Now the following steps are optional but are most often taken.

  1. drink
  2. drink
  3. drink
  4. lose your inhibitions
  5. get into an awkward argument about climate change with your Tea-Party cousin
  6. Agree to disagree
  7. hug it out
  8. drink

There you have it, Mulled Wine.

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Fairtrade Spices

Investing in Fairtrade

The Fair Seas Spice Co., that’s pretty me and two other guys, have recently expanded our line-up Fairtrade certified Spices

Fairtrade Spices

Our Expanded line-up of 100% Fairtrade Certified Spices

Our newest collection, available in 6 convenient sizes, is the perfect gift for even the most ethical consumer out there.

While we source virtually all our spices from small-scale farmers and cooperatives, we are especially proud of our Fairtrade product line. Fairtrade International, a remarkable organization, has done an amazing job in bringing to the forefront the plight of small-scale farmers and producers across the developing world. Often times we forget exactly how our neatly packaged spices, teas, coffees, and clothing (just to name a few examples) found their way onto store shelves. In too many instances, the products we use, consume, and take for granted are the result of some form of exploitation. The Fairtrade stamp is a friendly reminder that as consumers we must always be conscious of purchases we make, and that we always have a choice.

Small Scale Farmer

Small-Scale Farmer in India. Picture by Melanie Hadida

Fairtrade International has relentlessly championed the cause of small-scale producers across the globe. Under the legacy which Fairtrade International has established, hardworking producers who would otherwise receive a pittance for their labour or goods are now receiving just and fair market wages. Along with fair wages, Fairtrade International also places a premium on community development. Buying Fairtrade is not a charitable act, rather it is a legitimate investment in a communities inherent potential.

As of mid-September, the Fair Seas Spice Co. will be launching an expanded 100% Fairtrade Certified Spice Collection. All 11 of our Fairtrade certified spices will be now be included.  Our newest collection, available in 6 convenient sizes, is the perfect gift for even the most ethical consumer out there.

Fair Seas Spice Co.

This Week’s Spice Specials

Due to strong demand we’ve decided (all two of us) to extend our sale on Fairtrade Vanilla Extract and our Fairtrade Black Pepper. We’ve been getting such great feedback on both spices it would be irresponsible to end it now . On tap this week we also have fennel seed and bay leaf.

40% Off Homemade Fairtrade Vanilla Extract Kit

Vanilla Beans

Fairtrade Certified Vanilla Beans

The Vanilla Extract Kit makes for an ideal gift for anyone with a sweet tooth and a penchant for baking. Your homemade vanilla extract will not only taste amazing, this spice has many alleged health benefits as well.

Homemade Vanilla Extract Kit

Fairtrade Certified Homemade Vanilla Extract Kit

Vanilla is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties; the beans also contain essential B-vitamins such as niacin, panthothenic acid, thiamin, and riboflavin. What’s panthothenic acid you ask? I have no clue, I’m just a simple spice slinger, but apparently it’s pretty good for you. Studies also suggest that vanilla can increase ones libido. We thought about testing the libido claim around the office but ultimately concluded we don’t want to get sued. Libido and lawsuits aside, vanilla extract is said to help with skin disorders, mend burns, make cough syrup a little more palatable, and soothe toothaches. Although we cannot verify these health claims with any measure of certainty or authority, we can say with confidence it tastes good.

35% Off Fairtrade Black Pepper  and Receive 50g of FairtradeBlack Pepper with the Purchase of any Pepper Mill

Black Pepper

FT Certified Black Pepper

The Fairtrade certified Black Pepper has also proven to be a hit. Not only is our black pepper 35% off, we’ve decided to include 50g of our FT black pepper free with the purchase of our made in USA pepper mills. Our pepper mills are actually pretty awesome.

Pepper Mill

Pepper Mill

We’ve all gone out and bought those fancy looking but poorly built pre-filled pepper mills. Odds are that pepper mill was made within a stone’s throw away from where your Iphone was built. Let’s just say the quality of those items leaves something to be desired. On the other hand our pepper mills are built in far-flung and exotic Pennsylvania, USA. They come with a life time warrantee on the stainless steel grinding mechanism, and are all encased in beautiful wood sustainably harvested in Vermont and New Hampshire. These pepper mills also make for an amazing gift idea.

35% off Fennel Seed

Fennel Seed

Fennel Seed

Fennel Seed is one of those spices we’ve all tasted but never actually used. Slightly sweet with anise and liquorish notes, Fennel pairs so well with so many different flavours and works beautifully with so many different cooking techniques. Whether dry roasting or consumed raw, fennel will add distinguishable yet subtle flavour. A common spice in many blends, fennel has found its way into Chinese Five Spice, Panch phoron (a great East-Indian Bengali seed blend), and almost every Garam Masala ever mixed in India. When eating rich foods like Italian sausage or oily fish, fennel cuts through fat providing that perfect culinary balance.  Not only is fennel an ideal counter balance in rich savoury dishes, it is flawlessly adjusted for sweet dishes as well.

35% off Bay Leaves

Bay Leaf

Bay Leaf

I’m sorry to tell you this, but it’s high time you throw away those bay leaves you bought back in 2006. They are probably as brittle as my 90 year old grandmother’s hip. Whilst grandma is still kicking, your bay leaves aren’t. Bay leaf is the perfect ingredient for slow cooked savoury dishes such as soups and stews. Dry roasted and ground with other spices, bay leaves are also a key flavour component in many garam masala recipes. Because of its versatility and depth of flavour, Bay leaf recipes stretch from Asia to Africa, and Europe to the America’s. Pungent and aromatic with a sharply sweet and slight woody flavour profile, one or two bay leaves are all you need to add wonderful complexity to your cuisine. Remember, fresh bay leaves are aromatic and will bend before they snap. If your bay leaves odourless and crumble in your hands, they most definitely need to be replaced,

Spice Sale

This Week’s Featured Spices

We’ve launched some pretty interesting specials to kick the week off.

40% off our Fairtrade Certified Home-made Vanilla Extract Kit.

Vanilla Extract

Fairtrade Vanilla Extract

If you love to bake this vanilla extract kit is a must have. Of course one can walk into any grocery or big box store and buy vanilla extract; so why make it yourself? Quality and price are the primary reasons. Vanilla is one of the world’s most expensive spices, second only to saffron. Vanilla extract is also very pricey; problem is the price does not necessarily correspond to the quality. To produce marketable extract, large brands resort to using lesser quality vanilla beans and vanilla bean extractives. They also often add sugar or corn syrup to the mix. Is store-bought vanilla extract terrible? No, it’s far from terrible.

 Vanilla Extract

Typical store-bought vanilla extract

Store-bought vanilla extract is fine for all intents and purposes, but why settle for fine when you can buy the best. Not only is our home-made vanilla extract kit better and cheaper, it’s simple. All that’s involved is a sharp knife, some vodka, and time. Simply remove the beans from the bottle, slit them lengthwise, replace them in the bottle, cover the beans in premium vodka, and let it sit for no less than two months. Our gluten free, organically grown and 100% Fairtrade certified Malabar vanilla beans are plump, fresh, and full of flavour.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract with Sugar Added

The only ingredient aside from pure vanilla is vodka (or any other spirit of your choice). You won’t find a drop of sugar or corn syrup. What about price? At $10.50 this 250ml bottle (8.5oz) is the bottle that keeps on giving. Extract grows better with age. The longer you keep it the more flavourful it becomes. When you begin to run low, just throw in more vodka and a fresh vanilla bean every now and then. This bottle will literally last you for years, and it makes the perfect gift for baking aficionados.

35% Off our Fairtrade Certified Black Pepper.

Black Pepper

Black Pepper 100% Fairtrade Certified

I sell fine spices, so I’m allowed to get upset when I see someone using pre-ground pepper. If there is any spice that should be purchased whole it’s black pepper. In fact there is no point in buying the ground stuff. Black pepper’s flavour’s and aroma’s begin to fade within 30 minutes of cracking its hard outer shell. We also often speak of salt and pepper in the same breath, and often buy salt and pepper as a single set. While salt is a vital flavour enhancer, black pepper is its own spice. Black pepper not only enhances the dishes flavour profile, it actually alters it. So while any salt will usually do, the same cannot be said about black pepper. High quality, freshly ground stuff can make the difference between a single note meal and a meal with depth and complexity.

35% off Nutmeg

Nutmeg

Nutmeg

I’ve talked about nutmeg in the past. Nutmeg is the be-all end-all of baking spice. It’s never a secret when nutmeg is one of the ingredients. Nutmeg’s unique flavour is warm, highly aromatic, and always recognizable. Nutmeg also pairs so well with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cardamom, and vanilla. Nutmeg is not just a baking spice. It is also a vital component in many a garam masala recipe, it adds a nice touch to home-made sausages, and is the perfect addition to your do it yourself chutney (don’t tell me you’ve never cranked out a chutney. Here is a great yet simple recipe for Mango Chutney).

35% off Coriander

Coriander

Coriander

Coriander is an awesome little spice. It’s delicately sweet, yet woody with a wonderful floral and slightly peppery aroma. Coriander seeds compliment the full spectrum of foods: apples, chicken, citrus fruit, fish, ham, mushrooms, onions, salads, plums, pork, potatoes, and ext.

Spice Sales and Promotions

This Week’s Spice Specials

This week we are very excited about our sales and promotions.

This week we have 50% off  Fairtrade Certified Vanilla Beans.

Vanilla Beabs

FT Vanilla Beans

Most people, unfortunately, have experienced vanilla only as vanilla extract. Using the actual vanilla bean in every day cooking  and baking may seem almost inaccessible. For one, vanilla beans are extremely expensive, and if your not quite sure how to use them chances are you won’t be willing to dish out 10 dollars for a few measly grams at your local high-end grocer. Fact is, vanilla beans are not so intimidating, and the internet provides us with tons of ideas and recipes. Here is a great video to get you started:

And a great little recipe to test out your newly acquired vanilla bean splitting skills. Peach Vanilla Bean Jam 

Next we have 35% off Fairtrade Certified White Pepper.

White Pepper

White Pepper

White pepper is also a bit of a kitchen mystery. The vast majority of us have seen white pepper in two forms, pre-ground, and pre-packaged in a pepper-mill, and for that I must apologize. There is no substitute for freshly ground white pepper. As opposed to its black counterpart, white pepper imparts a slightly creamier flavour. Although the peppercorn has heat to it, it works well to enhance existing flavours rather than alter the overall flavour profile of your recipe. When mixed with black pepper it provides a very nice peppery balance with varying degrees of pungency and kick, plus it look really nice in those acrylic pepper mills. We do not sell acrylic made in China pepper mills, we’re all about the made in USA hardwood quality stuff. White pepper is also a key ingredient in the classic French Bechamel Sauce

Green Cardamom

Green Cardamom

Next on tap we have 35%off Fairtrade certified Green Cardamom. Cardamom is also one of those must have spices. If you’ve ever dabbled in baking, Indian cuisine, Middle Eastern cuisine, Scandinavian cuisine, spiced teas or spiced coffees, and I’m only getting started, Green Cardamom will be your go-to spice. Bottom line, no kitchen is complete without this fragrant little pod. Given the scorching heat hitting the North-east this week I thought this recipe would be apt, Mint and Cardamom Iced tea .

Cloves

Whole Cloves

Lastly we have 35% off FT certified whole cloves. Also a little known, little used, and very expensive spice, cloves impart an extremely intense aromtaically woody flavour. Like cardamom, this spice is essential in almost every type of regional cuisine. A little goes a long way so you don’t need to go nuts to get fancy, juts hrow a couple of cloves in your rice for some great flavour (remove the cloves before serving). Here is another great iced tea recipe: Iced Chai Tea Latte.