“Here we come a wassailing…!”
When I found out drinks and appetizers were on today's #SundaySupper menu, I immediately thought of my mom’s Wassail recipe. I grew up with the smell of it wafting through the house as Christmas approached and the weather turned colder. Then, after the sad events in Connecticut last Friday, it became clear that a warm, comforting drink and a little holiday cheer is what we all need about now.
Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis know I am also a preschool teacher. What happened to those children and teachers hit me quite hard. I can just imagine the reaction my students would have to such a terrible, traumatic event. However, it is comforting to be able to share this family recipe with you, and to teach about its history.
The word “wassail” comes from the late-21st century English toast “was-hail,” which means “be in good health.” To go wassailing was singing carols from door to door in hopes of a warm beverage and treats. The drink itself was a warm spiced ale or wine garnished with roasted apples.
Mom’s wassail recipe is very simple. Just wrap the whole spices into a cheesecloth pouch and pop it into a pot full of apple cider and cranberry juice. (If you can’t find apple cider, just use apple juice.) You may need to add a little brown sugar depending on the sweetness of the juices. For a party, warm the wassail in a slow cooker and float a few apple rings and cinnamon sticks on the top.
Mom never spiked hers, but I’ve found a bit of brandy dresses up this holiday drink. Not only is this a festive beverage, but it also helps you cope with the viruses and colds that float around this time of year. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator. Then, when the wassail craving strikes, just fill up a mug and warm it in the microwave.
Enjoy a mug of wassail, and cheers to you this Christmas and throughout the holiday season!
2 quarts apple cider (or apple juice)1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice
10 whole cinnamon sticks
20 to 25 whole cloves
1/2 to 1 cup brandy (optional)
Cut a piece of cheesecloth and place the whole spices in the center. Pull up the edges to make a pouch and tie with butcher’s twine.
Pour the cider and juice into a large pot or slow cooker. Add the spice pouch. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. (Or heat in the slow cooker on low for 4 to 5 hours.) Before serving, taste for sweetness and add 1/2 cup brown sugar if necessary. Also, add the brandy for a more adult beverage.
Check out the party creations from my fellow #SundaySupper bloggers, but please be aware that some of the participants decided to postpone their blog posts because of last Friday. Plus, there will not be a #SundaySupper chat this week. However, visit their blogs anyway. They are full of lovely recipes.
- Glühwein from Magnolia Days
- Cookies-n-Cream Cocktails from The Urban Mrs
- Cranberry Fizz from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Rosemary Orange Punsch from Galactopdx
- Candy Cane Martini from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Raspberry Hot Chocolate from Momma’s Meals
- Chocolate Peppermint Eggnog from The Daily Dish Recipes
- Jamaican Sorrel from The Lovely Pantry
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate Spoons from Chocolate Moosey
- Homemade Eggnog from Flour on my Face
- Moroccan Mint Tea from MarocMama
- Cherry Bomb from Noshing with the Nolands
- Cranberry Sparkler Mocktail from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Pomegranate Cosmo from Supper For A Steal
- Poinsettia Mimosas from Big Bear’s Wife
- Mulled Wine: Spiked and Steamy from Daddy Knows Less
- Poinsettia Cocktails from The Catholic Foodie
- The Red Carpet Diva from Cooking Underwriter
- Cheese Ball Wreath from The Meltaways
- Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tarts from My Catholic Kitchen
- Prosciutto Goat Cheese Rolls with Fig Preserves and Arugula from Shockingly Delicious
- Muenster and Spinach Pinwheels from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Drunk Moose Meatballs from The Foodie Army Wife
- Smoked Salmon Blinis with Cranberry-Spiced Feta from Chattering Kitchen
- Sticky Wholegrain Mustard & Ginger Cocktail Sausages from girlichef
- Potato Leek Soup from What Smells So Good
- Cheesy Mushroom Pull Apart Bread from Small Wallet Big Appetite
Quick & Easy Appetizers for Your
HolidayParty from Webicurean
- Bacon Peanut Caramel Corn from Gotta Get Baked
- Crostini topped with Voodoo Chicken Cream Dip from Country Girl in the Village
- Mushroom Strudel from Vintage Kitchen
- Roxanne’s Shrimp & Andouille Sausage Queso Dip from The ROXX Box
HolidayParty Mix from Curious Cuisiniere
- Old fashioned Swedish Meatballs from I Run For Wine
- Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bites from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Fried Green Beans with Wasabi Ranch from Juanita’s Cocina
- Salsa Baked Cheese from Home Cooking Memories
Dough Dip from The Cookie-A-Day Challenge
- Parmesan Onion Rounds from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Lip-smacking Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs from In The Kitchen with KP
- Hot Spinach Parmesan Dip from Comfy Cuisine
- Indian Spiced Tuna Balls from Soni’s Food
- Onion marmalade with Bacon from Ruffles and Truffles
- Sweet Potato Dip from Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Festive Cucumber & Ginger Sushi Rolls from The Ninja Baker
- Baked Jalapeno Popper Ranch Dip from Weekend Gourmet
- Baked Brie from Family Foodie
- Hoistin Asisan Meatballs from Damn Delicious