Witches' Brew Recipe for Traditional Samhain Cider & Wine
Upon the coming of Samhain, the Witches New Year, it is tradition to craft a magickal witches brew, essentially a hot mulled wine made with red wine or apple cider, visionary herbs, spices of Samhain and flowers to increase our psychic awareness. As we invite our ancestors to pass through the veil into the world of the living from the spirit world, use as a gracious offering by placing a separate chalice of the beverage on the altar during Samhain ritual. The wine is perfect used as a sacred libation (to be poured upon the earth) to honor ancestral spirits.
The wine is traditionally brewed with:
Allspice - Clove - Orange Peel - Anise Stars - Cinnamon Sticks - Red Wine or Apple Cider - Vodka, Rum or Brandy - Fresh Oranges & Orange Peel - Fresh Apples - Pomegranate Juice
Herbs and flowers that are optional include adding very small amounts of Elderberry, Mugwort, Lavender and/or Calendula flowers. Elderberry and Mugwort should be used in very very small amounts. Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) is a very powerful visionary herb and should be used with extreme caution when taken internally. Also, Mugwort should never be taken when pregnant.
To make your own Samhain Witch's Brew bag is very simple just add these ingredients. Allspice, clove, orange peel, cinnamon sticks and star anise, pop everything into a muslin bag for easy brewing. I bought mine on Amazon for a very low price, then simply pop the muslin bag into your brew and simmer!
Fresh fruits are always traditionally added to the brew. Apples are sacred to witches and have been used in spells and rituals since ancient times. As we invite our ancestors to pass thru the veil, apples serve as a food offering for nourishment aiding our ancestral spirits safe travel as they pass through the veil between the worldly realms.
Prepare fresh apple slices and orange slices which can be shaped into stars/pentacles or crescent moons. Twist orange peels into spirals and incorporate as garnish.
In a large pot on the stove:
1 quart Burgundy, Port Wine, or red wine of your liking, or 1 quart Apple Cider, Cranberry or fruit juice
1 witch's brew muslin bag with 1/2 ounce of Samhain Witch's Brew including cinnamon stick(s). If you are adding other ingredients, place those herbs in a muslin bag or strain after brewing. The Samhain Brew is essentially a blend of the herbs, spices & flowers listed above. Check your herb cabinet!
1/8 cup of sugar/brown sugar or to taste
Place muslin bag of Witch's Brew into wine/cider and heat to just below boiling point. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer on low for thirty minutes to one hour
Add 1 ounce (or more to taste) of Vodka, Rum or Brandy. You can also opt to add an ounce or two of Pomegranate juice, a symbolic offering traditional at Samhain.
Simmer until the desired taste is reached
Garnish with apple slices, orange slices, orange spirals, anise and cinnamon sticks
Use Witches Brew to add the essence of Samhain to your sacred space too! To use as an aromatic home brew, fill a cauldron or simmering pot with about 2 cups of water. Add the contents of the Witch's Brew bag into the water and simmer on low heat. If simmering for a longer period of time, make sure to add more water to the mix.