Wassail is a popular warm drink usually served during the holidays, especially in areas where the weather is cold. There are as many variations of wassail as there are cooks, some containing alcohol, and others non-alcoholic and suitable for everyone in the family. Wassail has been served in one form or another for hundreds of years, and is thought to have originated in England where it was used as a toast to good health for the coming new year; early versions almost always contained alcohol. Most wassail recipes call for apples in the form of cider or slices of whole apple, along with other fruit juices and spices such as cloves and cinnamon. The following recipe for Holiday Wassail is non-alcoholic and combines apple, orange, and cranberry juices.
For a large party or get-together, Holiday Wassail can be prepared in a large capacity percolator. For smaller groups, it can be heated in a slow cooker. Either method works well, and the bonus is that the heating wassail will fill the house with the wonderful smells of Christmas.
FYI, the word “Wassail” is used as a noun when referring to the drink, but is also a verb, since at holiday time, people go “Wassailing,” a pastime thought to have been the precursor to caroling. In fact, the Christmas carol, Here we come a Caroling was originally Here we come a Wassailing. Early English Wassailers are thought to have gone from house to house drinking to each other’s health and singing Christmas songs.
1 12 oz. can frozen apple juice concentrate
1 12 oz. can frozen cranberry juice concentrate
1 16 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
2 cups brown sugar
5 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 oranges, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
- In a large container, mix the juices, brown sugar, and 2 1/2 cans of water for each of the cans of juice.
- Pour the mixture into a large percolator , soup pot, or slow cooker to heat.
- If using a percolator, place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges, and lemons in the top, turn on, and percolate until very hot.
- If heating in a pan or slow cooker, tie the cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemons, and oranges in cheesecloth and let simmer in the mixture until hot.
- Once hot, pour into cups and let cool a little before serving to avoid burns.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 147 Calories from Fat 2
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 1% Protein 2% Carb. 96%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 11 mg
Total Carbohydrate 35 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 106% Calcium 0% Iron 5%