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.


Posted on 21, December 2011, in Drink and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wassailing is an English tradition originating from the cider making counties of the South West. It’s purpose is to sing and drink to the health of the cider apple producing trees in the hope that they might better thrive. The traditional drink being good old English Cider

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