Here We Come A-Wassailing
This sweet holiday beverage would be a fantastic addition to your holiday parties. It’s non-alcoholic, warm, and delicious. This would be a wonderful and traditional drink to serve to your guests.
What in the world is wassail? And what is "wassailing"? Ballston and Virginia Square, I've decided to unlock the mystery and give this drink a try.
We all know the song "Here We Come A-Wassailing," which-to be honest-is the only time I've ever even heard the word "wassail." I assumed it was an action-not both an action and a beverage. Wassailing can reference 2 different actions. The first is an old English tradition of singing in the hopes of a good harvest-specifically, singing for your orchard to produce a plentiful crop. The more common meaning of wassailing has to do with caroling. These carols were sang door to door in England wishing good health. In exchange, the homeowner would provide the carolers with a warm drink (wassail).
Wassail itself varies. It is always a warm, spicy drink. It can range from a mulled cider (non-alcoholic) to a hot wine or even more of a warmed beer or ale. I decided to make this a non-alcoholic cider drink. Wassail would be a great alternative to a cocktail at your holiday party: you've got to serve something special to those designated drivers! It would also be a nice way to finish a meal! This warm, spiced beverage would taste great and really put your guests in the holiday spirit! There are many versions of wassail, but considering the time of year, I decided to make Christmas Wassail.
Christmas Wassail (found on www.cdkitchen.com)
Makes 12 servings
1 gallon apple cider
27 whole cloves
8 cinnamon sticks
1 quart pineapple juice
1 can (6 ounce) frozen orange juice concentrate
1) Combine all ingredients into a crockpot and simmer. Serve hot.
Rating: B (it's really sweet!)
Level of Difficulty: Easy-you literally just combine everything into the crockpot and let it alone.
Cost: Roughly $9.00 (note: cloves/cinnamon sticks get EXPENSIVE. BUT-did you know World Market sells spices for very cheap? We got 8 cinnamon sticks and plenty of cloves for $3.00. Much cheaper than the grocery store!)
Cost per Serving: $0.75
Bad Breath Factor: Not a big deal. If you get a mouth full of cloves, that could be a problem-but that shouldn't happen with this drink.
1) Be sure each cup of wassail gets a cinnamon stick in it as a garnish!
2) Strain the drink-no one wants to accidentally bite into or swallow a clove-those are powerful spices!
3) Be sure you give it enough time to simmer in the crockpot. This will take at least an hour-but probably more.
Enjoy this! It's very popular this time of year, and is a step up from simply serving coffee. Try it out, and let me know what people think!
Happy Holidays, Ballston!