Wassail- Christmas Punch that Warms the Soul- 20 Wassail Recipes

 

Wassail is a traditional Christmas punch that has roots as far back as 1066, when the Normans likely introduced this warm brew to England.  Some may use other names to refer to traditional warm holiday punch, such as mulled cider or mulled wine. 

My favorite Christmas festival is the annual Wassailfest in New Braunfels, Texas.  It is held the first Thursday of December, starting at 6 pm, and lasting until the Wassail runs out!  That’s usually about 10 pm, but I have seen them roll up the sidewalks about 9. 

The store owners in the historic downtown area serve this traditional warm punch and open their doors for browsing.  Some shops have both alcohol and non-alcohol versions of wassail to offer up.  As you go from shop to shop sampling the Wassail, make notes!  You get to vote for the best Wassail. 

 

Wassail, Traditional Christmas Punch
Wassail, Traditional Christmas Punch | Source
 

Most wassails have an apple juice base, and spices such as cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and cloves.  Some add orange juice or other juices.  My favorites tend to be the ones with pineapple juice added. 

I spent some time on a couple of my favorite recipe sites and pulled together this collection of 20 wassail recipes.  I tried to make sure that each was sufficiently different from the others.  Recipes include a variety of combinations of juices.  Apple juice or apple cider is usually the base.  One recipe uses apricot nectar.  Other ingredients include grapefruit juice, lemonade, and tea.  Some of the recipes use interesting ingredients like cranberry jelly, Red Hots candies, or black pepper!  I even found a sugar free version using Crystal Light.  I have included versions with wine, sherry, brandy, and whiskey at the end. 

 

New Braunfels Wassailfest

Wassailfest 2013 Town Square New Braunfels Texas
Wassailfest 2013 Town Square New Braunfels Texas | Source

Wassail Song

Classic Wassails and Some Unusual Ones Too

 

 

Apple & Orange Juice Wassail

 

Serves 16

Ingredients:  4 cups orange juice, 8 cups apple juice, 4 cups water, 2 ¼ cups sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, 8 allspice berries, 10 cloves

Prep Time: 5 minutes  Total Time: 1 1/4 hours

Directions:  Add water and sugar to pot.  Bring to boil for 5 minutes.  Add spices and cover for 60 minutes.  Add juices and bring to rapid boil.  Remove from heat and serve. 

 

 

 

Cider, Orange Juice & Lemon Juice Wassail

 

Serves 24

Ingredients:  2 quarts orange juice, 2 quarts apple cider, 1 cup lemon juice, 2 cups water, 4 cups sugar, 12 cloves, 12 cinnamon sticks

Prep Time: 1 hour  Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

Directions:  Add water and sugar to pot.  Bring to boil for 10 minutes.  Add spices and cover for 60 minutes or overnight.  Add cider and juices and bring to boil.  Remove from heat and serve. 

 

VARIATIONAdd crystallized ginger

VARIATIONAdd pineapple juice

 

 

 

Cranberry, Pineapple, & Orange Juice with Fruit Punch Wassail

 

Serves 32

Ingredients:  1 (6 oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate, 1 (6 oz) can frozen fruit punch concentrate, 40 oz pineapple juice, 2 cups cranberry juice, 7 cups water, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 TBSP whole allspice, 1 TBSP cloves

Directions:  Heat cranberry juice, water, and sugar on medium heat in large pot.  Place spices in cheesecloth bag and tie.  Add to pot and simmer 20 minutes.  Remove spices.  Add fruit juices and concentrates.  Serve hot. 

 

 

 

Apple, Orange & Grapefruit Juice Wassail

 

Serves 16-24

Ingredients:  4 cups orange juice, 4 cups grapefruit juice, 8 cups apple juice, ¾ cup white sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 12-24 cloves

Prep Time: 5 mins   Total Time: 15 mins

Directions:  Heat apple juice, sugar, and spices until sugar until sugar dissolves.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat.  Add orange and grapefruit juice. 

 

 

 

Pineapple & Orange Juice and Tea Wassail

 

Serves 7

Ingredients:  1 (6 oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate, ¾ cup pineapple juice, 2 ½ cups water, 2 orange pekoe tea bags, honey, lemon juice, cloves, cinnamon stick.

Prep Time: 5 minutes    Total Time: 30 minutes

Directions:  Boil water in pot.  Add tea bags.  Cover and steep 10 minutes.  Discard tea bags.  Add remaining ingredients.  Heat over medium low for 15 minutes.  Discard spices and serve. 

 

 

Expert Village How to Make Wassail

 

 

Cider, Orange Juice and Lemonade Wassail

 

Serves 12-16

Ingredients:  2 quarts apple cider, 1 (6 oz) can frozen orange juice concentrate, 1 (6 oz) can frozen lemonade concentrate, 1 quart water, 1 cup sugar, 4 cinnamon sticks, 4 allspice berries, 12 cloves, 2 TBSP chopped ginger

Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours   Total Time: 2 hours

Directions:  Combine sugar and water in a large pot.  Bring to boil for 10 minutes, then turn off heat.  Add spices.  Cover and let stand 1 hour.  Strain to remove spices.  Add thawed orange juice and lemonade concentrates, and apple cider.  Bring to boil.  Serve. 

 

 

 

Juice, Tea & Cranberry Sauce Wassail

 

Serves 4-8

Ingredients:  ½ cup orange juice, ¼ cup Real Lemon juice, 5 ½ cups water, 1 can cranberry jelly sauce, 1 family size (or 3 regular) tea bags, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, 1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon allspice

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Total Time: 1 1/4 hours

Directions:  Place spices in a paper coffee filter and tie off with tea bag string.  Steep spice pouch and tea bag in 2 ½ cups water in a large pot for 5 minutes.  Combine cranberry sauce, 1 ½ cups boiling water, and ¾ cups sugar in a large bowl.  Mix with electric mixer until lumps are gone.  Add orange and lemon juice and 1 ½ cup boiling water.  Remove tea bag and spices from pot.  Add cranberry mixture to tea in the pot.  Heat all ingredients in pot, or use a crock pot. 

 

 

 

Wassail with Fruit Juice and Apricot Nectar

 

Serves 22

Ingredients:  1 gallon apple cider or apple juice, 4 ½ cups pineapple juice, 4 cups orange juice, 2 (12 oz) cans apricot nectar, 1 (12 oz) can frozen lemonade, 2 sticks cinnamon, 2 teaspoons whole cloves, 1 teaspoon whole nutmeg

Prep Time:  15 minutes   Total Time 1 ¼ hours

Directions:  Make pouch of spices in cheesecloth.  Add all ingredients to large Dutch oven pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Uncover and simmer another 30 minutes.  Remove spice pouch.  Serve hot.  Transfer to crock pot to keep warm. 

 

 

 

Wassail with Fruit Juice and Red Hots

 

Serves 12

Ingredients:  1 quart apple juice, 1 cup pineapple juice, 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup water, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup Red Hots candies, 2 cinnamon sticks, ½ teaspoon ground cloves

Servings:  12

Prep Time:  5 minutes   Total Times:  15 minutes

Directions:  Combine all ingredients in a pot.  Heat, stirring frequently until Red Hots are dissolved. 

 

 

Traditional Mulling Spices:  Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Star Anise
Traditional Mulling Spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Star Anise | Source

Wassail with Fruit

 

Apple, Pineapple & Cranberry Juice Wassail with Lemon Slices

 

Serves 18

Ingredients:  2 cups cranberry juice cocktail, 3 cups pineapple juice, 4 cups apple juice, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, 4 lemon slices

Prep Time: 5 minutes  Total Time: 15 minutes

Directions:  Combine all ingredients in a pot and simmer for 10 minutes. 

 

 

 

Crystal Light Wassail

 

Serves 10

Ingredients:  1 large can apple juice, 2 ½ cups water, 1 pouch Crystal Light Raspberry Ice, 1 pouch Crystal Light Cranberry Breeze, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 orange sliced

Prep Time:  5 minutes   Total Time 3 ¼ hours

Directions:  Add apple juice, water and cinnamon sticks to crock pot.  Cook on low for 2 hours.  Stir in Crystal Light.  Add orange slices.  Cook 1 hour.  Remove cinnamon and orange slices and serve. 

 

 

 

Wassail with Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Cider, and Apricots

 

Serves 16

Ingredients:  8 cups pineapple juice, 4 cups apple cider, 2 cups orange juice, 2 (16 oz) cans apricots with juice, 30 cloves, 10 cinnamon sticks (broken)

Prep Time:  10 minutes   Total Time:  30 minutes

Directions:  In a blender, process apricots and juice until smooth.  Pour into large pot.  Add cider and juices.  Make cheesecloth pouch with spices and add to pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes. 

 

 

 

Cranberry, Pineapple & Lemon Juice and Cider Wassail with Orange Slices

 

Serves 12

Ingredients:  1/2 gallon apple cider, 1/2 gallon cranberry juice, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 ¼ cups pineapple juice, 1 large orange, ¼ cup honey, ½ cup sugar, 24 cloves, 4 cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.  Garnish with mint leaves and orange slices. 

Directions:  Combine cider, juices and thinly sliced orange in large pot.  Add sugar, honey, cloves and cinnamon sticks.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Add remaining spices.  Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve warm with garnish. 

 

 

 

Apple Cider Wassail with Sliced Apples

 

Serves 16

Ingredients:  1 gallon apple cider, 3 TBSP brown sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, ¼ teaspoon ground mace, ¼ teaspoon anise seed, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 thinly sliced orange, 1 thinly sliced lemon, 6 cored apples cut in 1 inch pieces

Directions:  Add cider, apples, and cinnamon sticks to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat and add remaining spices and brown sugar.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Simmer 20 minutes.  Add orange and lemon slices.  Simmer 5 more minutes.  Serve in mugs with fruit. 

 

 

 

Apple Juice Wassail with Apples, Oranges and Black Pepper

 

Serves 10

Ingredients:  1 (12 ounce) can frozen apple juice, 3 ½ cans water, 2 sweet oranges, 1 sour orange, 1 red apple, 2 cinnamon sticks, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 star anise seed

Prep Time:  10 minutes   Total Time:  55 minutes

Directions:  Pour apple juice and water in crock pot.  Quarter oranges. Squeeze orange quarters into crock pot.  Add squeezed orange quarters to crock pot.  Quarter apples and add.  Add spices to crock pot.  Heat on low about 45 minutes.  Reduce heat to warm setting and heat for up to 6 hours.  Serve in mugs. 

 

 

Wassail Ingredients
Wassail Ingredients | Source

Wassail with Alcohol

 

Apple Cranberry Wassail with Rum

Serves 12

Ingredients: 2 quarts apple cider or apple juice, 2 cups cranberry juice, ¾ cups sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon whole allspice, 1 small orange studded with cloves, 1 cup rum

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 4 ½ hours

Directions: Add all ingredients to a crock pot. Cover and heat on high 1 hour. Reduce to low and heat 4 to 8 hours.

 

 

Ginger Ale Wassail with Milk, Sherry & Brandy

Serves 25

Ingredients: 2 liters ginger ale, 25 oz sherry, 1 cup brandy, 1 cup milk, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 whole cloves, 4 allspice berries, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, 8 Pink Lady apples

Directions: Bake whole apples in 350° oven until tender, about 25 minutes. Gently crush allspice and break cinnamon sticks. Place all spices in cheesecloth bag. Bring 2 cups of ginger ale and spice bag to a boil in a large pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove spice bag. Add remaining ginger ale, sherry an brandy. Heat until hot but do not boil. Whisk in milk. Pour into punch bowl and add baked apples.

 

 

Tavern Wassail with Fruit Juice with Red Wine & Sherry

Serves 20

Ingredients: 2 cups pineapple juice, 2 cups orange juice, ½ cup lemon juice, ½ cup water, 6 cups dry red wine, 1 cup dry sherry, 1 cup sugar, 4 cinnamon sticks, 3 lemon slices

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes

Directions: Combine water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and lemon slices in large saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Strain and discard cinnamon and lemon. Pour juices, wine and sherry into a large pot and simmer for several minutes. Combine wine mixture and sugar mixture in a serving bowl. Serve hot in mugs with lemon slices.

 

 

Apple Cranberry Wassail with Whiskey

Serves 12

Ingredients: 3 quarts apple cider, 1 quart cranberry juice, 2 TBSP allspice, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 pint whiskey

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 1 ¼ hours

Directions: Combine all ingredients except whiskey in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer at least 1 hour. Strain and add whiskey. Garnish with sliced oranges.

 

 

Apple Cider Wassail with Baked Apples, Eggs, Cream Sherry & Brandy

Serves 25-30

Ingredients: 1 gallon apple cider, 1/3 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon mace, 6 cloves, 6 allspice berries, 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 cups cream sherry, 1 cup brandy, 3 eggs separated, 2 cups peeled golden delicious baked apples

Prep Time: 1 hour Total Time: 2 hours

Directions: Cut baked apples into medium small pieces. In a saucepan heat cider and baked apples pieces. In another saucepan boil sugar, water and spices for 5 minutes. In a third saucepan boil cream sherry and brandy. In a mixing bowl, process 3 egg whites until firm and stiff but not dry. In a large mixing bowl mix 3 egg yolks until creamy and light in color. Fold egg whites into yokes. Add spice mixture a little at a time, stirring constantly. Add alcohol. Then add cider mixture. Remove allspice and cloves. Serve warm.

Chef Paul Prudhomme Makes Wassail

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19 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 5 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Some of these recipes are new to me so I'm really exited to try them out.

Thanks for sharing, voted up and useful with the holidays just around the corner

hope you're well

regards Zsuzsy


SJerZGirl 5 years ago

I guess because Braunfels is a town settled by Germans helps this be popular. The Christimas Festivals in Germany offer hot spiced wine every day they're open (usually almost a month from our Thanksgiving until Christmas - when they celebrate a holiday, they don't fool around). It smells wonderful along with all the other foods being cooked out in the open booths set up just for the Weinnachtmarkt. Personally, I didn't care much for it, but since I don't know what was in it, someone else's might appeal to me. But, the fragrance was so enticing!


erthfrend profile image

erthfrend 5 years ago from Florida

THESE SOUND SOOOO GOOD! Thank you so much for sharing these yummy sounding recipes! What a perfect treat for Christmas! Great hub!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

Many of these recipes are new to me as I had no idea there was so many types. They sound wonderful. I may make some this year as I think the family would enjoy it. Thanks for sharing so many recipes.


Purple Perl profile image

Purple Perl 5 years ago from Bangalore,India

Rose Mary, I enjoyed this hub, and hope to try one of them for this Christmas. Thanks very much for sharing! I voted you up! And awesome too!


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Zsuzsy Bee I'm doing okay. Thanks for asking. I've gone back to work part-time, which has really cut into my hubbing. Hope you have been well.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

SJerZGirl you're right about the German influence. New Braunfels also has a hugely popular Wurstfest each year.

I went to lots of wine festivals in Germany, like the Bernkastel winefest all 3 years I was there. But I don't recall any Christmas festivals!


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

erthfrend we bought some apple cider recently that was a bit dissapointing. It was pretty bland. We're thinking about spicing it up, adding some pineapple juice, maybe some pumpkin spice tea, and a few other things, and having it Thanksgiving.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Pamela, one of the shops at Wassailfest always makes a chocolate wassail! How's that for different? I did some searching, but could not find a recipe.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks Perl. Please let me know if you try one, and how it turned out.


QuinceInvitations profile image

QuinceInvitations 5 years ago

I am following your recipes and I am doing good now.


prayers 5 years ago

Wassail is delicious! Thanks for the recipes!


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 5 years ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks for visiting and commenting Quince & prayers.


Kimberly Vaughn profile image

Kimberly Vaughn 3 years ago from Midwest

I have heard of Wassail before but I never knew what it was. I will have to try this at Christmas!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 22 months ago from sunny Florida

Okay, now so I want to rush out and get everything so I can try all of these. This is such a favorite at this time of the year.

Thanks for sharing....pinning and sharing

Voted up ++++

Angels are on the way to you ps


janshares profile image

janshares 22 months ago from Washington, DC

I just had my annual taste of wassail yesterday at the Christmas bazaar I chair at my church. We have the standard flavor with apple cider and spices. It was soooooo good. This is an informative recipe hub. I had no idea there we so many kinds of wassail. Thanks for the recipes. Voted up and useful.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 22 months ago from Nashville Tn.

You have gone beyond the call in bring us this collection of Christmas Punch. In addition to this, I now know the meaning of Wassail. :) Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and will share. Thanks.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 22 months ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks vocalcoach! Just went to Wassailfest again last week in New Braunfels TX. Reminds me of wine festivals in Germany. Also gluhwein.


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 22 months ago from San Antonio Texas Author

Thanks for visiting pstraubie & janshares. I almost overlooked your posts. It's been a while since I got multiple posts in one day on the same hub.

I try to go to Wassailfest every year in December. Most are made with apple juice or orange juice. Occasionally I come across one made with pineapple juice, which is usually my favorite.

(pstraubie thanks for the nice sentiment.)

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