Will you wassail?

appleWassailing is an old English term for toasting someone’s health and it’s linked with carol singing and going from house to house, and celebrating during the festivities.

The wassail is traditionally a spiced ale or mulled wine that one quaffs on Christmas Eve and Twelfth Night.

Here’s our recipe for the perfect cup or two of wassail – cheers!

  • 3 red apples
  • 3 oz brown sugar
  • 2 pints brown ale, apple juice or cider
  • 1/2 pint dry sherry or dry white wine
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger strips or lemon peel

Core, then heat the whole apples together with the brown sugar and some of the ale or cider. Gently heat on a low oven for 30 minutes.

Remove and place in a large pan, adding the rest of the spices and lemon peel, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Add most of the alcohol at the last minute so it warms up, but does not evaporate. Burgundy and brandy can be substituted for the ale and sherry.

White sugar and halved oranges may also be added to taste. Makes enough for eight.