During the winter months my family and I like to enjoy Wassail, a traditional recipe of spiced cider. It is simple to make but a little time consuming.
- 1 Gallon apple cider
- 2 C. cranberry juice (try to use 100% cranberry juice if you can find it)
- 1/2 C honey
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 oranges sliced or one very large orange sliced
- palm-full of Whole cloves
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp GF Allspice (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp GF Ginger (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp GF Nutmeg (or to taste)
- 3 cinnamon sticks broken in half
On the stove top set at med-low to low
Mix apple cider, cranberry juice, honey and sugar in a very large pot. As it heats up, stir so that the honey and sugar dissolve evenly. Add orange slices, diced apple, clove, cinnamon sticks, allspice, ginger and nutmeg.
Cover your pot and allow to simmer 2 - 4 hours on low heat.
To serve use a ladle and a strainer so you get a fantastic tasting non chunky beverage. I put aside the strained part to use in marmalade later.
This works not only as an amazing and traditional drink for your family or a party but also it makes your home smell amazing.
A little history of the drink, the name is actually a toast to good health or to being hail (healthy). It used to be made and consumed to ensure a great apple harvest in the next year. If you are going traditional it includes eggs. Since I don't like it with eggs I didn't include them.
Later in time, carolers used to go wassailing, which is getting the drink in return for songs. Each caroler would have their own wassail bowl usually made of white maple, birch, or ash. Bread or toast was normally floated in this drink, hence to term to "toast".
Families would also make large pots of wassail and sell it for a penny per cup or bowl. Or a ha’ penny (half penny) if the buyer had nothing else. There is so much history surrounding one little winter drink.
Question of the day!
What is your favorite holiday drink?