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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wassail, What is it and where can I get some?

"Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year."


So what exactly is this "Wassail" stuff? Pronounced "wah-sul", it is a spiced punch drunk at Twelfth Night and Christmas/Yule celebrations. Wassail is most commonly recognized as an obscure reference in various traditional Christmas carols (like the one above). The term derived from the Old English wes hál, meaning "be in good health," and was originally used as a toast, the appropriate response being "drink-hail!"

While the beverage typically served as "wassail" at modern holiday feasts with a medieval theme most closely resembles mulled cider, historical wassail was completely different, more likely to be mulled beer. Sugar, ale, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon would be placed in a bowl, heated, and topped with slices of toast as sops.

How to make Wassail :

1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 (6 oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed and undiluted
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon
2 qts apple juice or cider
1 qt cranapple juice
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

1 (46 oz) can pineapple juice
2/3 cup firmly packed brown
sugar
1 (12 oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
1/2 cup sugar

Tie cloves and cinnamon in a cheesecloth bag. Place spice bag and remaining ingredients in a large kettle; stir well.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer
uncovered for 15 minutes.
Remove the spice bag.
Rum or brandy may be added
if desired.
(Yield: 1.5 gallons )

4 Comments:

At 10:31 AM, Blogger D L Ennis said...

Interesting, I'm going to have to try this.

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger thebluestbutterfly said...

Jeff-
Have you ever tried wassail??? Did you like it???

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Yes and Yes....it is like a mulled wine or spiced beer. There is mead available made by our freinds down the road at Stonewall Vineyards of Appomattox County, that tastes kinda like wassail, it is called Pyment and is available at Kroger and Food Lion Stores.

You can goto http://www.stonewal.com

 
At 7:57 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

That url should be

http://www.stonewall.com

 

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