Hi everyone! It’s Colleen here. Every year for the Christmas holiday, I make a big pot of Wassail, something I have been doing as long as I can remember, and every year without fail people always ask…what? What is it? What is Wassail?
Did you ever hear the song Here We Go A Wassailing?
Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand’ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.
There you go! The wassail song lyrics are just an added bonus. The wassail recipe is what you came for, right??
Wassail is a fun and festive offering for the holidays. I like to keep a big pot of it simmering on the stove. I always make people who have never had it taste it, and I always catch them going back for more – I love it!
Wassail is traditionally enjoyed as an integral part of “wassailing”, an ancient English drinking ritual intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest. The purpose of wassailing was/is to awaken the cider apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn.
Wassail makes your home smell delicious, warms you to your toes and is easily transported. Once made and cooled, I pour it back into the cider container and take it wherever our holiday travels take us. It’s easy to reheat in a pot on the stove once you get there. I think there are as many variations of wassail recipes as there are cider apple orchards in England. This is the one I have settled on over the years.
I make this non-alcoholic so all ages can enjoy it, but feel free to add Brandy to taste.
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1 ½ cups orange juice (no pulp)
- 6 oz can of pineapple juice
- 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
- 3 TBS sugar
- ¼ cup mulling spices OR to make your own mulling spice by combining 4 sticks of cinnamon, 3 long strips of orange rind, 1 TBS whole cloves and 1 TBS whole allspice berries.
- Combine everything in a large pot; bring to a boil, stirring often. (If you have a metal spice ball, use it, if not, just throw it all in then pour through a strainer prior to serving or storing).
- Turn off the stove and let it sit for 30 minutes before reheating to serve.
- Serve it very warm like you would tea.
- You can make it ahead, refrigerate it and reheat as necessary.
- Wassail keeps well for 4-5 days.
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