Christmas Wassail

Christmas Wassail 

You may be saying, what the heck is Wassail. Well you may remember a Christmas carol about “Here we go A Wassailing”, Wassail is a hot, mulled drink associated with the Yuletide holidays. It was traditionally drunk from a ‘wassailing bowl’. Known as the earliest form of mead; which was roasted crab apples.  Later, it evolved to become a mulled cider made with sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Modern recipes begin with a base of fruit juices, wine, or mulled ale, sometimes with brandy or bourbon added. Apples or oranges are often floated on top of  the mix. Great bowls turned from wood, pottery or tin and often had many handles for shared drinking and highly decorated lids were used.  Antique examples can still be found in traditional pubs.


  • 1 gallon fresh apple cider
  • 6 ounces red wine
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root, peeled & diced
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (Get extra to garnish)
  • 10-12 ounces of Top shelf Bourbon (Optional)
  • cheesecloth &  kitchen twine
  • Garnish with fresh ground nutmeg and 1 cinnamon stick per drink

To make the wassail, wrap the cloves, allspice, ginger, and cinnamon sticks in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen string. Combine the cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, and spice bag in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Serve warm, makes 10-12 glasses.




  1. I ended up checking out all the nice things on the website. I want to thank you for those tips. I am happy to see all of them and now have seriously been loving these things. Appreciation for simply being indeed kind hearted and sharing such fine ideas.

  2. I’m just grateful for all your information. You have been providing great posts and teaching people via your site.

  3. I never knew this. Great information and a nice recipe to try. Thank you once again for interests topics and fun things to read.

  4. Wow that is a lot of information, and I have to say I heard the song but always wondered about it. I have high hopes you realize what a powerful job you are always carrying out educating the mediocre ones through the use of a blog. Great post!

  5. This is a interesting read and the history and tips indicates a great deal to me about your blog. Best wishes- I will add you to my rss feed.

  6. Thank you for every one of your efforts on this blog. My grandmother used to make this for the holidays, of course I was always too young to drink it. Now you have triggered that memory I must make it this winter. I think I have all the ingredients and its a snow day so I think it is the perfect warm me up drink today.

  7. I have wondered about this, I knew it was a drink but never took the time to look up what kind, I must say it looks delicious.

  8. Ummm this sounds delicious and like a fun game night drink. I have a ladies group that we play cards with, and this would be perfect, easy to keep warm and refresh.

  9. Yes I too am one of the people asking what heck is wassail. Then I remember my mum used to make something like this, after reading the explanation. I think I am a fan of wassail, as it is pretty close to my vino.

  10. I must give this a try, I have never heard off Wassail before but it sound like mulled wine, yes? Which I do love.

  11. I want to express some appreciation to the writer I had no idea before reading your post what Wassail was, and now I have a very good comprehension of it. I think more blogs should be set up like this, and bit of learning with a recipe, or idea.

  12. I must show some thanks to you, this is clearly a history lesson as well as a recipe. I am just like al the other and clearly had no idea what Wassail was, or how to make it, but I agree it sound great and could become a resurgence of an old fashion drink. Hey what’s old is new again.

  13. I have to show some appreciation to you just for teaching me about Wassail. I must admit I have wondered what it was, and now I am obsessed with making it. The ingredients are all my favorite and I love a nice warm drink to sip by the fire on these cold nights. Thank you!

  14. Thanks so much for giving everyone a great explantation for that song. I have alway heard and wondered what A Wassailing was??? The warm wine based drink looks very tasty and I can not wait to make it, I am thinking I will be wassailing for Valentine’s Day? I think it will be cold enough up here to do so this year.

  15. I have to show some appreciation to this writer for educating us all on Wassail. This really is a great recipe and works for many winter occasions. It is like the Sangria of winter, with a Mead like quality. I just love it, thank you.

  16. I have always wondered what Wassail is, thanks for supplying those warm and friendly, trustworthy, edifying and fun tips on the topic.

  17. You have a great blog site and this article is proof. How dope is it to have so many drink selections at a party and they are all real fans too. Good article , thanks! Added to FeedBurner as party

  18. I simply desired to send you a note of appreciation I have always wondered what Wassail was and I love that you covered the historical back ground along with providing a recipe too. This is a great wintertime drink for sipping by the fire. It has been really cold here in Michigan this year and the lake effect doe not help.

  19. Your blog post is valueble for me, I found so many things think interest me, please keep blogging. Thanks!

  20. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I actually like your approach of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website listing and can be checking again soon. Pls check out my web site as properly and let me know what you think.

  21. My husband and I got very happy when making this concoction for the holiday and so did our guests. It tasted great, was so warn and tasty! Thank you for the whole thing, we even learned a little something too!

  22. You have got the number one answer to all holiday fun right here! Thanks for the history and recipe I always wondered what wassailing was, now I know.

  23. I think I have to make this for the a little Christmas cheer and the history of the drink.

  24. This is a great explanation for the history of the drink and song. This looks like a perfect drink for the holidays.

  25. It is nice to see you promoting our traditional holiday drink here in Germany. We love your site.

  26. I’ve had it before and it was delicious! I never knew what the ingredients were . Thank you for sharing!

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