Do you know this old English carol? “Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green. Here we come a-wandering so fair to be seen. Love and joy come to you. And to you your wassail, too. May God bless you and send you a Happy New Year. And God send you a Happy New Year!”
It reminds me of the Boar’s Head Festival…and my Mom’s homemade wassail. Almost every year for our Epiphany Open House, Mom would mix a big pot of wassail and leave it to simmer on the stove. There is something special about this delicious spiced drink. It has a different flavor than apple cider. It’s a bit tangier. Perhaps that is why I like wassail so much.
I like to drink wassail on these cold winter mornings. It is also a delicious drink to serve for large gatherings. Plus, your house will smell lovely as the cinnamon and cloves simmer in the wassail on the stove! If you have never tried wassail, give it a try. And be sure to sing the wassail song as you make it!
1 stick cinnamon
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 cups sugar
3 cups water
4 quarts (16 cups) apple juice
1 quart (4 cups) orange juice
1 cup lemon juice
Boil cinnamon stick and cloves in water and sugar. Boil until sugar is dissolved. Cool. Mix juices into pan. Simmer. You can strain out the cloves and cinnamon before serving, or leave them in the pot to flavor the wassail that remains. Serve hot. This recipe makes about 2 gallons of wassail.
You can keep wassail hot by warming it on the stove in a large pan. If you are serving wassail for a party, a crock pot always works well to keep your wassail hot. That said, wassail is still tasty to drink when cold – and can easily be reheated in the microwave in individual mugs.