How to Make Gourmet Gift Jars for Your Fave Foodies

These foodie-approved chai tea, mulled wine and fiery spice rub kits taste even better than they look.

Chai Tea Jar

Materials Needed

  • For packaging: 16-ounce glass jar, 3 muslin tea bags, 5”x5” fabric square, gold twine, scissors
  • 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 18 green cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 heaping tablespoon whole cloves
  • 3 large cinnamon sticks, broken into thirds
  • 6 pieces of crystallized ginger
  • 6 tablespoons Darjeeling tea

Measure out and layer your spices in the jar in the following order: Fennel, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, ginger (Image 1). Fill each muslin bag with two tablespoons of the Darjeeling tea (Image 2). Tie each tea bag shut, then place them atop the layered spices and seal the jar (Image 3).

Packaging

Top the jar with the fabric square, then tie in place with the gold twine and trim as necessary. Tip: Add an accent like this teak demitasse spoon (available at kitchen-supply stores). Include the following instructions on a gift tag: In a sauce pan, combine 1/3 of spice mix with 7 cups of water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, then steep for 10 minutes. Add one tea bag, bring back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 more minutes. Strain out and discard the spices and tea, then stir in 4 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 cup milk. Serves 8.

Mulled Wine Jar

Materials Needed

  • For packaging: 8-ounce glass jar, 5”x5” fabric square, ribbon, scissors
  • 4 candied orange slices
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, broken in halves
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • 6 star anise pods

Measure out and layer your ingredients in the jar in the following order: Orange slices, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, anise pods (Images 1, 2). Seal the jar.

Packaging

Top the jar with the fabric square, then tie in place with the ribbon and trim as necessary. Tip: Add a sprig of greenery as an accent. Include the following instructions on a gift tag: In a large sauce pan, combine spice mix with 2 750-ml bottles of full-bodied red wine. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then strain. Add honey to taste. Serves 12.

Spice Rub Jar

Materials Needed

  • For packaging: 8-ounce glass jar, 5”x5” fabric square, ribbon, scissors
  • 1 tablespoon pimentón (smoked paprika)
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Measure out spices in seven small vessels as follows: Pimentón, cayenne and chili powder (together); cumin; garlic and onion (together); white pepper; black pepper; sugar; salt. In the same order, pour spices into the glass jar (Image 1). Add each layer slowly and evenly to distribute the spices (Images 2, 3). Seal the jar.

Packaging

Fold the fabric square in thirds, then tie in place with the ribbon and trim as necessary. Tip: Add an accent like this ceramic scoop (available at kitchen-supply stores). Include the following instructions on a gift tag: Stir to combine spices, then apply dry rub before grilling beef, pork, fish, chicken or portobello mushrooms.

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