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.
After you have made the Wassail, you can also stud an orange with cloves and add that to your pot or crock pot and slice up an apple to add to the pot as well festive look.
If you don't like the flavor of pineapple juice, replace it with apple juice.
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