December 20, 2011

WASSAIL! (And Hot Toddies)

Ok my lovelies, I promised wassail. It’s wassail time. This drink is soooooo good! It has all I like in an adult beverage – it tastes good, not nasty. It’s not too strong. It’s a little sweet.

I dare say that this is THE PERFECT WINTER DRINK. Even better than hot buttered rum.

(Legal disclaimer: Please don’t serve this to yo kids! Or if you do, I absolve myself from any and all past, present or future liability.)

See the clove-studded oranges above? You’re going to need one of those bobbins.

Cups frontwards.

Cups backwards. Sorry, I’m just goofing off.

You’ll feel extra Dickensian if you serve the drink in your fanciest cuppies. Last year I served this in Christmas paper cups. That also works. But I want to feel Dickens-esque this year so I’m going for the fancy, even though it means I have to wash these puppies BEFORE and AFTER use. (Andrew says I can’t skate by and ignore the layer of dust that has settled on the bottom of the glasses. Le bummer.)

So my recipe is one I found on Design Sponge and since I haven’t made my wassail yet this year (I’m making it for Christmas Eve), I’ll show you the lovely picture that was featured over at DS.

ISN’T THAT PRETTY???? This is why I’m going for the clear glasses this year, the wassail just looks so marvelous through them!

Here’s the recipe:

WASSAIL (via Design Sponge)


10 very small apples
1 large orange stuck with whole cloves
10 teaspoons brown sugar
2 bottles dry sherry or dry Madeira
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 cloves
3 allspice berries
2 or 3 cinnamon sticks
2 cups castor sugar
12 to 20 pints of cider according to the number of guests
1 cup (or two!) brandy


Preheat oven to 350°.

Core apples and fill each with a teaspoon of brown sugar. Place in a baking pan and cover bottom with 1/8-inch of water. (Note: I did not do this. I simply cut the apples in half, scooped out the middle seed section and sprinkled the halves with the brown sugar.)

Insert cloves into the orange about 1/2-inch apart. Put orange in baking pan with apples.

Bake apples and orange for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Puncture orange in several places with fork or an ice pick.

In a heavy saucepan combine sherry or Madeira, cider, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice berries, cinnamon, sugar, apples, orange, juice from bottom of baking pan and heat slowly without letting the mixture come to a boil.

Once completely heated, leave on very low heat until ready to serve.

Strain the mixture into metal punch bowl (Note: I do not do this either.), add brandy and float the apples and orange on top. Ladle hot into punch cups and enjoy!

(Serves 15-20)

If you’re interested in more winter warming drinks, check out this book:

I am all about the hot toddy. I swear they cure colds. Really. I am totally getting this book for myself.

So are you going to try the WASSAIL? I really feel the need to say/write this word in all caps. Do you have a favorite hot toddy?

(Image Credits: picture of wassail-filled glass via Design Sponge.)


  1. yum. someone needs to make that for me. ;)

  2. I'll make that for you!! Come on over! It's just a short jaunt over to the Pac NW from where you are :) -- Actually it dawns on me that I'm not sure where you are! Wasn't it the East Coast? Or Georgia? I might be confusing you with someone else. ~Melissa