Wednesday, December 16, 2020

"Here we Come a Wassailing..." with Wassail

Have you ever had wassail? I grew up with the smell of my mom's recipe for this holiday drink wafting through the house as Christmas approached and the weather turned colder. A warm mug full of spicy cranberry and apple goodness epitomized the meaning of "comfort and joy." 

In other words, this beverage is perfect for Christmas 2020. 

The word “wassail” comes from the late-21st century English toast “was-hail,” which means “be in good health.” To go wassailing was singing carols from door to door in hopes of a warm beverage and treats. The drink itself was a warm spiced ale or wine garnished with roasted apples.

Mom’s wassail recipe is very simple. Just wrap the whole spices into a cheesecloth pouch and pop it into a pot full of apple cider and cranberry juice. Add a little brown sugar depending on the sweetness of the juices. Mom never spiked hers, but I’ve found adding a bit of brandy to be very tasty. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator. Then, when the wassail craving strikes, just fill up a mug and warm it in the microwave.

Cheers to you and joyous wishes during this unique holiday season! 

Yield: 10 to 12
Author: Linda Ditch


A warm mug full of spicy cranberry and apple goodness epitomized the meaning of "comfort and joy."


  • 2 quarts apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice
  • 8 to 10 whole allspice
  • 10 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 20 to 25 whole cloves
  • 1/2 to 1 cup brandy (optional)


  1. Cut a piece of cheesecloth and place the whole spices in the center. Pull up the edges to make a pouch and tie with butcher’s twine.
  2. Pour the cider and juice into a large pot or slow cooker. Add the spice pouch. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. (Or heat in the slow cooker on low for 4 to 5 hours.) Before serving, taste for sweetness and add 1/2 cup brown sugar if necessary. Also, add the brandy for a more adult beverage.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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