Twelve Days of Christmas: Wassail

I fight scurvy

Americans sure do love their wassail, can’t get enough of it. Oh wait, we said wassail not waffles. Well the drink has been slower to catch on, was probably around the height of its popularity during the revolution when pirates used it to fight off the cold and scurvy while they were stuck behind the Scottish brigade. True story: Those same pirates wrote our national anthem when they awoke to find our flag was still there.*

Well enough history from Rufus. If you want the real story behind wassail check out the Nourished Kitchen. Her traditional recipe, which we used as a guideline for ours, has a great write up to go with it and her photos are beautiful. Her recipe calls for hard cider and explains how to use toast as well, a step we skipped.

Wassail (adapted from the Nourished Kitchen)

  • 2 small apples
  • about 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 medium orange
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 large eggs (separated)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Core the apples without fully penetrating the apple. Fill each apple with brown sugar. Stud the orange with the cloves. Roast the fruit for about 40 minutes. The apple will be very tender. While the fruit is cooking, heat cider and brandy with cinnamon sticks, but do not allow to boil. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks. Beat the yolks until lemon colored. Using a spatula, mix the two together then add a cup of the hot cider. Pour cider into a punch bowl, top with the egg mix and float the fruit. Dust the top with grated nutmeg.

*All due apologies to Francis Scott Key who was most certainly not a pirate.

For your holiday enjoyment:

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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24 Responses to Twelve Days of Christmas: Wassail

  1. I’ll admit, I’ve actually never heard of one, but it sounds delicious!

  2. joshuafagans says:

    Definitely a classic!

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    I’ve heard of wassail but never read a recipe for it. Well, the only thing I heard about it was from Daphne Moon on “Frasier”, Christmas “punch would make you want to kiss the donkey in the manger scene and wassail makes you want to check into the inn.”

  4. I always thought of wassailing as an annoyingly invasive form of group singing – now, I realise it’s also a way of getting legless. Excellent.

  5. niasunset says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for you both. Thank you, love, nia

  6. I like that you have a recipe for wassail. I just have a mix that I received as a gift that I have yet to open.

  7. Never saw the recipe before – very cool!
    Though, if one actually “Went a-Wassailing,” while drinking it, they’d all wind up face down in the snow…

  8. haha–you had me going there with the pirates. Wassail brings an interesting slant to history.

  9. Mad Dog says:

    It’s very important to go out and wassail the trees if you want a good crop of apples next year ;-)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassail

  10. egg me on says:

    Waay cool wassail! Err, way hot wassail! I need a remedy for my scurvy, and this sounds tasty!

  11. sallybr says:

    Have been a bit absent of the blogosphere, but browsing your recent concoctions I must say I would love to see a photo of your liquor cabinet! You guys have an impressive collection of stuff, pretty amazing indeed!

    this drink sounds awesome, by the way…

  12. spree says:

    Have never tried Wassail but now think we should! And I went off to visit the Nourished Kitchen on your recommendation and loved it too. Thanks for both!

  13. Eva Taylor says:

    That pooch sure has a high pitch voice! It was quite unexpected and hilarious!
    This drink sounds nourishing and intoxicating at the same time. A perfect combination!

  14. Caroline says:

    I’d actually never heard of this drink before, but looking at the recipe, I’d definitely be a fan. So festive! :)

  15. kristina says:

    Was about to have a fit that FSK was a pirate but then saw the asterisk. Phew! :) I’ll definitely try this out, I normally just have cold cider, but there’s something appealing about hot cider in winter. It probably smells like Christmas!

  16. rsmacaalay says:

    This sounds good and fruity

  17. Kristy says:

    I’ve never heard of a wassail before. Now this is a drink I can take caroling!

  18. Pingback: Winter Drink Roundup | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

  19. Pingback: Twelve Days of Christmas: Rosemary and Pomegranate Gin and Tonics | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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