If you’ve never had hot wassail, you must try it this Christmas season. Wassail is a hot mulled cider, with lots of holiday spices. It is a tradition at our house for Christmas Eve! It starts with a base of apple cider, added to that, a little orange juice and some pink lemonade. (I also like to toss in a handful of cinnamon red hots candies for color and added flavor!)
It’s perfect for serving at holiday parties because it smells so good while it’s simmering. In fact, it smells like Christmas!
In a large stock pot, combine the following and bring it to a boil:
2 c. sugar
8 c. water
20 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
1 ginger root, sliced thin
(If you prefer, you can add ground spices instead of the whole cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger root – also, you won’t need to strain it.) To make it this way, just add 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger. Add more it you like it spicier.
Boil 2 minutes, then strain* it with a cheesecloth to remove the whole spices (*you won’t need to strain it if you make it with the ground spices.)
8 c. regular orange juice (NOT the concentrate!)
4 c. regular pink lemonade (NOT the concentrate!)
1 gallon good quality apple cider
a handful of cinnamon red hots (candy)
Return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer and stir occasionally until the red hot candies are dissolved. Serve hot. (it makes a couple of gallons!) It stores well in the refrigerator, so you can enjoy it all the way into the new year!