Wassail

Wassail
Wassail
Wassail gets its name from the Old Norse "ves heill" and Old English "was hál," meaning "be fortunate," which is how we feel when we drink it.Ingalls Photography

Wassail gets its name from the Old Norse ves heill and Old English was hál, meaning "be fortunate," which is how we feel when we drink it. This British punch comes from a pagan rite in which revelers toasted to apple trees to ensure the harvest.

Wassail
Wassail, a British punch, comes from a pagan rite in which revelers toasted to apple trees to ensure the harvest.
Yield: serves 12

Ingredients

  • 6 apples, cored
  • 2 12 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 15 allspice berries
  • 15 cloves
  • 6 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 cup madeira
  • 1 cup unsweetened cider
  • 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 3 (16-oz.) cans ale
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle dry hard cider
  • Peel of two oranges

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Place apples in baking dish; place light brown sugar in center of each apple. Pour 1 cup water in dish; bake 1 hour. Toast allspice berries, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high, 2 minutes. Add madeira, unsweetened cider, nutmeg, ginger, ale, dry hard cider, and orange peels; boil. Reduce to medium; simmer 1 hour. Add apples and any liquid; cook 10 minutes.