Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wassail: The Holidays are Upon Us

I love holiday food. Love it. And not just sweets...spiral ham, stuffed mushrooms, and especially this year...wassail.

For many many years my mom has made a hot spiced drink called wassail. It's a mixture of citrus juices, apple juice, and spices. I am wild about it. I like warm drinks and as I'm not a coffee drinker and I really can't seem to learn to like wassail is a welcome alternative...though tea would have less calories.

But I really only drink it on Thanksgiving and Christmas, when my mom tends to make it.

But then I had a, dare I say, brilliant idea--make a batch of wassail and freeze it in ice cube trays. Store the cubes in a bag in the freezer and heat just a few up at a time to enjoy wassail all season long.

So I made the wassail and tried freezing it...but I didn't want to leave it in the ice cube trays too long because I don't have trays with lids (must buy some soon) and I didn't want the wassail to absorb all the scents of the freezer. So I popped them out prematurely and now I have a bag of wassail all frozen in one big chunk. So I'll probably just reheat it in a week and drink it then. Still--two weeks of wassail instead of one is good, very good.

A lot of people do not like wassail....perhaps that's because your grandma didn't have the right recipe. If you're brave try this's the one my mom makes very year.

I made it with less sugar and next time I might go for even less...maybe down to like 1/2 cup for the whole batch. The apple juice and orange juice have sugar enough, but the lemon juice might need to be counteracted by the sugar...hmmm, we'll see. Also sometimes it can be a little strong, but you can water it down, which is great because then you have even MORE wassail.

Anyway delicious. Here's the recipe, make it, you'll love it.

Wassail from Barbara Ball

2 1/4 c sugar (I took it down to 1 1/4)
4 c water
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
8 whole all spice berries

Put the sugar in the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for a few minutes to ensure the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn heat off. Add spices, cover and let the water draw out the spice flavor. Give it a good 2 hours (this is a good thing to do the night before even, though i wouldn't leave the spices in overnight). Take spices out after at least 2 hours have passed.

Next, in a larger pot (or crock pot) put in the now spiced water. Add the following juices

4 cups orange juice
2 cups lemon juice (1 1/2 if you use fresh, which I think you should)
2 quarts apple juice

Heat until it's nice and warm & serve. Store the leftovers in your fridge and enjoy it for breakfast for a few days following.

Sorry, no pictures of the wassail--just trust me, it's delicious.

1 little remarks:

Anthony Simister said...

Mmmmmm....need I say more?

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