It’s that time of year again, when the cold comes rushing in and the holidays are approaching ever so quickly. Thanksgiving is over, and the end of another year draws nearer. It’s the time of year when joy, cheerfulness, and giving are abound. What better way to put you in the holiday spirit than a guide to the best spices around this time of year! The warmer the spice the better; something that can give our cold bodies a rush of homeliness and a hug for our insides.


rosemary, balsamic
Mackenzie Barth

Rosemary is a woody, fragrant herb that is a member of the mint family. The flavor really packs a punch and can transform a meal into something extravagant (at least, when used correctly). Don’t add too much rosemary because the flavor can be overpowering! The plant itself is actually sold as little christmas trees around this time of year. It’ll keep your house smelling AMAZING! (I would know, I have one in my apartment). It’s also really REALLY cute. I highly recommend. Rosemary compliments cranberry really well, and can be found frequently in drinks like this cranberry rosemary mocktail, or these delicious rosemary crusted lamb chops.  


cinnamon, herb, relish, condiment, cloves
Natalie Rodriguez

Cinnamon is a classic spice. Everybody knows the taste and scent of cinnamon (you all remember the cinnamon challenge). It can warm you up on a cold day and even make you reminisce of home. The aromatic spice can be used both in sweet and savory dishes, making it the perfect addition to your cabinet all winter long. This Jewish Apple Cake is the perfect way to utilize all of that cinnamon that you have leftover from Thanksgiving. For those of you that are stuck in a dorm and looking for something to warm you up, this cinnamon roll souffle in a mug is calling your name. 


ginger, vegetable, galangal, herb
Tyra Wu

Ginger another strong, zesty yet warm spice. It is normally used in more Asian and Indian cuisines, however during the holiday seasons, it can be found lurking in many dishes. Ginger can also be used in sweet and savory meals. This pumpkin roulade cake with ginger buttercream is my personal favorite, by none other than (the queen) Ina Garten. It also has known health benefits like soothing stomach pains, reduce muscle strains, and can help fight infections. Gingerbread is the epitome of holiday season. Gingerbread houses, am I right?\


Ellen Gibbs

Sage is commonly found in your classic Thanksgiving stuffing. It has a mild, but distinct flavor that goes perfectly with the holiday season. The leaf itself is a bit fizzy and has healing properties like soothing sore throats because of their high levels of antioxidants. 


nut, coconut, nutmeg
Jessica Yeh

Another classic holiday flavor. You can ask anyone about holiday spices and they will say nutmeg. Nutmeg is in holiday classics like pumpkin pie and eggnog. It has an earthy, warm flavor and can be a great enhancer to many meals. Nutmeg can spice up a dessert or add a little umph to any of your basic recipes.

Star Anise

anise, herb, cinnamon, condiment, relish, cardamom, cloves
Jessie Lee

Star anise isn’t talked about much among the non-foodie community, but it is a commonly used in many of the holiday classics.  It has a sort of licorice flavor to it, and not only used to add spice but to be a decorative touch to any boring looking dish. This snickerdoodle recipe is sure to spice up your upcoming holiday cookie swap. 


cinnamon, herb, anise, tea
Susanna Mostaghim

Cloves are commonly found on ham or poking out of apples. It is used to give aromatic and warm flavors to all of your favorite foods. Cloves can be found in pumpkin pie spice, apple cider, and holiday ham. A clove itself is a dark brown colored flower bud that is commonly used whole or can be crushed up and used in spice mixes. 

These spices are sure to spice up any boring holiday treat.