How to Make a Holiday Simmer Pot

Want a clever, all natural and inexpensive way to make your house smell amazing during the holidays? Make this EASY Holiday Cranberry Spice Simmer Pot.

Simmer Pot

How to Make a Holiday Simmer Pot.

While we’re all thinking about gingerbread cookies, giant mugs of hot chocolate, wrapping presents and chair dancing to blaring holiday music (hello Mariah Carey Christmas – don’t act like that’s not the guilty pleasure holiday album of the century.) don’t overlook the power of scent this season. The nose knows.  There’s a reason that fresh Christmas trees and candles that smell like freshly baked holiday cookies are high on the must have scent list. A lot of those candles though are made using artificial scents.

We’ve got an alternative. A simmer pot is a clever, inexpensive and all-natural way to make your home smell amazing. It’s as easy as putting all of the ingredients into a saucepan, adding water and letting it SIMMER (hence simmer pot). Adding water as necessary (typically every 30 minutes or so). That’s all there is to it.

Simmer PotSimmering Scents.

Cranberries, cloves, herbs and lemon slices are a quintessential holiday combination. It’s a classic and it’s the combination we’ve chosen for this holiday simmer pot. Simply slice a lemon thickly and then insert a clove into the center of each (just like you would for an old school Southern Ham). This is purely a decorative step and honestly the cloves are going to eventually separate from the lemon slices so if it’s just you and you want to skip it, go ahead and chuck the cloves into the pot. I won’t tell.

Turn on the heat and simmer until you’re nose is content. Just remember to check it every 30 minutes or so and add water to replenish. Otherwise you’ll end up with a burnt mess and that my friends isn’t the smell we’re going for here.

Simmer Pot Ingredients

Making a simmer pot is such a simple thing to do but it makes a big difference. It’s not a new idea by any means. My Grandma and Mom used to do this before potpourri pots were even a thing.

How to Make a Holiday Simmer Pot. Cranberries, lemons, rosemary, cinnamon sticks simmering in a blue pot

Do you remember those mini crock pots that were filled with what looks like molten lava and or the baskets filled with dried flowers, etc. The ones where if you spilled them made a giant mess) I’m super clumsy so maybe that was just me?

Simmer PotSimmer Pots for all Occasions.

You can do this all year round with different ingredients to celebrate each season. Save your orange peels, lemon and lime peels, and apple and pear skins. They make excellent additions.

Go ahead and get creative with your ingredient combinations. That’s part of the fun. I’d love to hear what you put in your simmer pots!

Please simmer responsibly. Never leave a pot unattended.




Holiday Simmer Pot

A Holiday Simmer Pot is a clever, all natural and inexpensive way to make your house smell amazing during the holidays.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 lemon -sliced
  • 5 cloves
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary


  1. Place all items into a large sauce pan. Fill pot half way with water.
  2. Simmer over medium-low heat.
  3. As water dissipates, add more.
  4. Discard all items when finished simmering.

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  1. 1

    I’m going to go make one of these right now! I love it!

  2. 2

    Just made this and my house smells amazing!

  3. 3

    I love it when my house smells good! This is such a great idea!

  4. 4

    What a great idea, I LOVE the aroma of Christmas!

  5. 5

    ooo I love the idea of using lemon instead of oranges!

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