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Apple Wassail: A Delicious Recipe for the Holiday Season

apple wassail

Apple Wassail: A Delicious Recipe for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with a warm, comforting drink? Enter the apple wassail. This traditional winter punch is a delightful blend of apple cider, spices, and a touch of alcohol, making it the perfect beverage to enjoy on a cold winter’s night. In this article, we’ll share a delicious apple wassail recipe that’s sure to impress your guests and warm their hearts (and bellies!).

What is Apple Wassail?

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a moment to understand what apple wassail is. Originating from England, wassail is a hot, mulled punch often associated with Yuletide and Christmas. The term ‘wassail’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which means ‘be well’. Traditionally, wassail was made with mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and sugar. However, modern versions, like our apple wassail recipe, often replace the ale with apple cider and omit the cream and eggs for a lighter, fruitier taste.

The History of Apple Wassail

Origins of Wassailing

Wassailing, a deeply-rooted and time-honored English tradition with origins dating back to the remarkable era of the Middle Ages, holds a paramount significance in the cultural fabric of this historic land. Originally devised as a ritualistic practice aimed at invoking blessings upon apple orchards and fervently securing bountiful harvests, Wassail has long been regarded as a sacred tradition, passed down through generations in reverence and awe-inspiring admiration. Evocative of a bygone era teeming with rustic charm and mysticism, this enchanting practice has transcended the boundaries of time, etching itself indelibly in the annals of English folklore.

In its nascent form, Wassailers, oozing with zeal and brimming with fervor, would embark on a momentous journey from door to door, traversing the picturesque countryside. These devoted purveyors of tradition, adorned with costumes that spoke volumes of ancient symbolism and significance, fearlessly and intrepidly set forth on their noble mission. Upon reaching each household, the Wassailers would breathe life into the tranquil night air with mellifluous melodies, their harmonious voices intermingling effortlessly with the ethereal whispers of the wind. Overflowing with the spirit of unity and shared camaraderie, the gifted singers would offer a humble and heartwarming drink, resonating with the indomitable spirit of community and benevolence, to the majestic trees that stood resolute before them.

Wassail Bowls and the Evolution of Apple Wassail

wassail bowl

Wassail bowls, originally designed vessels, were used to hold the delightful and fragrant spiced drink known as wassail. Over time, the focus and importance of this ceremonial beverage shifted from blessing orchards during harvest season to embracing the joyful festivities of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. The irresistible charm of apple wassail became beloved by many, making it a popular and essential part of merry holiday revelries.

Apple Wassail Recipe

Now, let’s get to the fun part – making the apple wassail. This recipe serves 8-10 people and takes about 20 minutes to prepare.


  • 1 gallon of apple cider
  • 1 orange
  • 1 apple
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 cup of brandy (optional)
  • Cinnamon sticks for garnish


  • Pour the apple cider into a large pot and heat over medium heat.
  • While the cider is heating, take the orange and apple and stud them with the whole cloves.
  • Add the clove-studded fruit, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger to the pot.
  • Allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the brandy (if using).
  • Ladle the hot wassail into mugs and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

And there you have it – a delicious, warming apple wassail recipe that’s perfect for the holiday season!

Black Scottie Spiced Apple Wassail

apple wassail latte

The process of making the perfect apple wassail can often be quite lengthy and there is no guarantee that it will always turn out tasting just right. However, we understand the need for a more convenient option, which is why we have developed a concentrate solution just for you. Introducing Black Scottie Spiced Apple Wassail, a concentrated spiced apple wassail that not only simplifies the process of creating the best fall/winter drink but also helps you save money in the long run. With this product, you no longer need to possess advanced culinary skills – all you have to do is pour 1oz of the Black Scottie Spiced Apple Wassail concentrate into 11oz of your choice of beverage, whether it be water or milk, and mix them together. It’s truly as simple as that!

Apple Wassail vs. Hot Toddy

You might be wondering how apple wassail differs from another popular winter drink – the hot toddy. While both are warm, comforting beverages, they have a few key differences. A hot toddy is typically made with whiskey, honey, lemon, and hot water, making it a simpler, less fruity drink than the apple wassail. Additionally, while a hot toddy is often used as a cold remedy, apple wassail is more of a festive, celebratory drink.

Apple Wassail vs. Apple Cider


Apple wassail and apple cider are both delicious apple-based beverages, but they have some differences in terms of ingredients and preparation.

Apple wassail is a traditional hot punch that is often enjoyed during the holiday season. It is made by simmering apple cider with various spices and fruits, such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and oranges. It is typically sweetened with brown sugar or honey and sometimes includes added spirits like brandy or rum. The resulting drink is warm, aromatic, and perfect for cold winter nights.

On the other hand, apple cider refers to the unfiltered juice extracted from apples. It is usually served cold and can be either sweet or tart, depending on the variety of apples used. Apple cider is often enjoyed as a refreshing drink on its own or can be used as a base for other beverages or recipes.

While both apple wassail and apple cider are apple-based drinks, they differ in terms of preparation and flavor profile. Apple wassail is a spiced and warm punch with added ingredients like spices and fruits, while apple cider is a cold, unfiltered apple juice.

Creative Variations to Spice Up Your Apple Wassail

Mulled Wine Wassail

  • Replace some or all of the apple cider with red wine for a rich and spiced mulled wine wassail
  • Add additional spices such as star anise, cardamom pods, and allspice berries

Cranberry Apple Wassail

  • Add cranberry juice to the classic recipe for a tart and festive twist
  • Garnish with fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary for a pop of color

Gingerbread Wassail

  • Infuse the wassail with the flavors of gingerbread by adding molasses, ginger, and a pinch of cloves
  • Serve with a gingerbread cookie on the side for a delightful pairing


apple wassail make drink

Whether you find yourself amidst the joyous chaos of hosting a lively and bustling holiday party with family and friends or simply seeking solace in the cozy comforts of your own home on a frosty winter’s night, there is one delectable concoction that promises to fulfill your desires for both heartwarming flavors and soul-soothing warmth – none other than the splendid apple wassail recipe. Laden with a symphony of luscious fruit essences and infused with a sense of nostalgia, this delightful elixir is destined to etch its indelible mark in the annals of your household’s culinary history. So, let the holiday season be the perfect occasion to embrace this enchanting potion, and perhaps, in doing so, you shall uncover a cherished new tradition for generations to come.

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