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An antique teacup on a saucer, filled with wassail, a cinnamon stick and one star anise. It is in a marble counter, surrounding the cup are more spices, cinnamon sticks, clove, allspice berries and star anise.


Are you familiar with the traditional Christmas song “Here We Come a-Wassailing”? Wassailing is an old British tradition in which people would visit the orchards and fruit trees, leading up to Christmas, while singing and banging on pots and pans. This was in order to ward off bad spirits and ensure a bountiful harvest in the new year. The owners of the land would then offer up a spiced cider (usually spiked with some sort of alcohol) to the Wassailers as a thank you.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well today I am sharing my Wassail recipe with you. Just like the Brits used it when warding off the bad spirits in the orchards, maybe we can all use it to ward off the bad spirits of 2020, and hope we get a better 2021! Alright, so I know I'm stretching the "dessert" title just a little bit today, but in my opinion, dessert beverages are just as important as any other dessert. Now, the recipe I am sharing with you today is non-alcoholic, but if it suits your fancy, you can definitely add in some spiced rum or bourbon to get your blood pumping.

What is Wassail?

There are many different ways to make Wassail, but at it’s very base, it is a hot mulled cider with a multitude of different spices. Most wassail recipes have, at the very least, apple cider and cinnamon. There are also some recipes that include tea bags or even vanilla beans. The great thing about Wassail is, you can pretty much throw whatever you want into it, so feel free to use my recipe as a guideline!

Wassail is also a great drink for all of your outdoor get togethers this season. You can put it in a thermos and drink it around the campfire. Or you can even bring it caroling if you’re into that sort of thing!


happy holidays, happy eating & happy drinking!






Wassail Recipe


1 quart water

2 ½ cups granulated white sugar

10 cloves

8 allspice berries

2 cinnamon sticks

1 star anise

2 quarts apple cider

1 quart orange juice

1 cup lemon juice



  1. In a medium saucepan, still together water and sugar, allow it to boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in cloves, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks and star anise. Allow to sit for 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Strain out your spices.
  4. In a large pot pour in your spiced simple syrup. The add apple cider, orange juice and lemon juice.
  5. Heat and serve warm!

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