Allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise and cardamom are top sellers when Americans buy more than 31 million pounds of spices, seasonings and extracts during November and December, according to Laurie Harrsen, a spokesperson for spice maker McCormick & Co.
That’s what she told Baltimore Sun reporter Liz Atwood for a recent story, noting that these two months account for 20% of all spices sold annually.
Here’s a super-easy recipe from McCormick that’s perfect for your upcoming New Year’s Eve party. It incorporates five of the season’s favorite spices.
Warm Cranberry Punch
Makes 13 servings (one cup each)
1/2 cup sugar
64 oz. cranberry juice cocktail (try organic Nantucket Nectars)
1 12-oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate (try organic Cascadian Farms)
4 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks
8 whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Simmer 30 minutes.
- Remove whole spices before serving. Garnish with orange slices, if desired. Serve warm or cold.