This is a recipe that my grandmother made every year when I was growing up. Later, my mom made it, and now we do. It is a fantastic winter treat. This is a non-alcholic version so it is good for the whole family. I suppose it is more of a spiced cider than the traditional wassail of the middle ages.

The recipe

Disolve 2 cups of sugar in 1 quart of water. Boil for 5 minutes.

Into a pourous bag (like cheesecloth) add:

1 tsp cinammon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cloves

Put the bag in the hot sugar-water and let it soak for about 1.5 hours.

After an hour and half, remove the bag and add two quarts of apple juice—the best quality you can find. Add one quart of orange juice—again, the best you can find. I am partial to Simply Orange.


Squeeze in two lemons.

Serve hot. We put it in a slow cooker and keep it hot all day. Some people like to serve it with a cinnamon stick. Either way, it is fantastic.

Additional reading for those interested in the history of wassail

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