Winter Wassail

"Wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon toast "waes hael" or be whole". The first carols were Yuletide drinking songs and singers caroled their neighbourhoods carrying their wassail bowls with them. That was just to get you into the spirit, now down to business. I have no idea how many servings you'll get. When I make this I don't use any alcohol and I serve small amounts to younger children (diluted with apple juice) while the men bring big coffee mugs (with their own spirit base)."
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652
photo by Rita1652 photo by Rita1652
Ready In:




  • Pour cider into large kettle, add spices and salt. Bring to a hard boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes
  • Remove from stove, add sugar to taste, if needed.
  • Cool. Strain wassail. Keep in a cool place till ready to use, but it is not necessary to refrigerate.
  • To prepare a wassail bowl: Use a heavy china bowl, a crock pot or a punch bowl.
  • Heat it over a large kettle of boiling water. Add lemon and orange slices.
  • When warm, add gin or vodka and let it heat, but do not boil or spirits will evaporate. Remove from heat.
  • Pour in the boiling wassail. If possible keep the bowl hot over a candle or alcohol burner. Ladle into punch cups and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. luvinlif2k
    I have put this in my 'Tried & True' book. I made this for the kids for our Christmas Tea since they don't seem to like tea ... yet. I tied the whole spices in cheesecloth for easy removal and put everything except fruit in the crockpot for 2 hours on High. I then added the fruit and turned the crockpot to Low until ready to serve. This was a hit with both the kids and the adults. So much for the tea! I will definitely make this again and have 'spirits' available for the adults to add to their cups before getting wassail. Great recipe (and great idea for 'spirits')! Thanks for posting!
  2. Sydney Mike
    NOW THIS IS A REALLY GREAT TASTING WASSAIL, & although I don't consider myself an expert, I have been making & drinking the stuff for an awful lot of years! I don't make is with alcohol anymore, but did use some freshly made apple cider (from a nearby apple growing area that we frequent!) & except for the alcohol, I followed this recipe right on down! Very nice, & I'll be making this one several times more before the New Year begins! Thanks so much for posting the recipe! [Tagged, made & reviewed in 1-2-3 Hit Wonders tag]
  3. Jalapeno Mel
    Wonderful!! Just exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much1
  4. Rita1652
    OK I made for Halloween couldn`t wait till Christmas for this. Cider is all over now so try this you`ll like it! I used apple liqueur cut the recipe to 8 servings. Skipped the lemon was out! Made for apple photo. Thanks!
  5. JeriBinNC
    This was sooo good--warm and comforting on a cold day. I used slightly less sugar than called for but everything else was as written. It's the perfect amount of spice, if you ask me--and my guests! Everyone loved it, and I'll make this often. Thanks!



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