Daily Archives: 21, December 2011

Here we come a-wassailing

Larry Crowe/AP

Have you ever had wassail?

On NPR’s “Morning Edition” this morning, reporter Kathleen Osborn discusses her search for this very traditional English drink in New England. Have a listen.

I’ve never tried it, but the following are three very different variations on this festive drink.

Randy Baril’s Wassail Recipe

1/2 gallon beer (Preferably a very malty English-style old ale. Mayflower’s Thanksgiving Ale works really well.)

5 sticks of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

5 slices fresh ginger

3 whole allspice

1/2 teaspoon sweet orange peel (optional)

On stovetop or in a slow cooker, add spices to beer. (Can use a tea bag for
the clove, allspice and orange so they can be removed easily. Allow
the cinnamon and ginger to go free-range.)

Warm to just under a simmer and hold for at least 30 minutes.

Adjust spice blend to your taste. For extra sweet wassail, add a bit of brown sugar.

Enjoy on a cold winter night in the company of friends and family while singing to keep the dark at bay.

Clarence Zimmerman Family Wassail Recipe

1 to 2 bottles of champagne

1 pint vodka

1 cup brandy

32 ounces fresh tart juice (cranberry or orange)

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a decorative vessel that the whole family can drink from.

The Prince and The Pauper Wassail Recipe

Fresh apple cider

Little bit of orange juice

A little less lemon juice

Cinnamon stick


Dash of nutmeg

Dash of ginger

Steep all ingredients for a half-hour on a low boil. Add brandy, rum or vodka as desired.