Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wassail Blends and Recipes

Wassail~ the old English word waes haeil means “be ye well”  It is the centuries old tradition of welcoming the new year by offering warming drink to friends and family who came to call on New Years.

I first made a Wassail Blend in 2003 when my sister in law wanted something unique as her wedding favor.  I researched the traditional ingredients for wassail which include cinnamon and cloves, but also cardamom and ginger.  We then packaged it in a muslin bag with orange peel.  I have since found several ways to prepare wassail punch so here are several recipes to try.  The first is the recipe I include with the mixture. 

Traditional Wassail
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 quarts grape juice (or quart of wine)
1 gallon cider
          (or 1 to 1 1/2 gallons cran-apple juice)

In a large pan, place Wassail spice bag, raisins, and grape juice (or wine).  Bring to the simmering point.  Simmer for one hour.  Remove spice bag (it can be reused one more time).  Add cider, and heat just long enough to bring the mixture to a simmer.  Pour into a preheated punch bowl and serve.  When punch is all gone, raisins can be eaten.  Wassail gets better with age, so make it ahead of time and reheat. 

Spiced Cider Wassail
2 quarts apple cider
1 quart orange juice
1 quart apricot nectar
½ cup fresh lemon juice

In a non-reactive pan, bring to a boil the cider, juices, and the spice bag.  Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.  Transfer to a heat proof punch bowl.  You can add some clove studded orange and lemon slices and float them in the bowl of wassail.  Makes 4 quarts.

Hot Spice Punch
1 bottle of dry red wine
1/2 cup seedless raisins

Put wine and wassail bag in a large bowl and leave for about 8 hours.  Then add raisins and heat punch until the surface begins to shake, but does not come to a boil.  Serve warm.

GLOGG (a traditional holiday drink)
1 gallon cider
2 cup water
1 cup red wine
1 miniature box raisins
6 whole almonds
Bourbon or apple cider

Simmer Wassail Bag in 2 cups water for 15 minutes, remove bag and add remaining ingredients.  Simmer for an additional 20 minutes.  Then add 1/2 liter of bourbon or 1/2 gallon of cider.

Cran-Apple Punch

This special recipe was shared with me by a customer.  She created it using the Spiced Cider / Mulled Wine Blend.

12 cups apple juice
6 cups cranberry juice
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Simmer on low heat for 30-45 minutes.  Serve warm.

Our Wassail Blend as well as the other Spiced Cider mixtures from the Backyard Patch are available by visiting this link or our Esty Store. 

Enjoy your holiday safely and responsibly!

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