The basic Wassail hails from Britain where it has been a seasonal favorite for centuries. It's a delightful mixture that comes in a variety of styles.


1 gal cider (apple cider)
1 orange
1 lemon
4 pce cinnamon (4 cinnamon sticks)
1 t clove (whole cloves)
1 1⁄2 t allspice (ground)
1⁄2 t nutmeg (ground)


  1. Slice up the orange and the lemon into very thin sections, then scatter them around the apple cider, swirling the liquid well.
  2. Throw in the cinnamon sticks and cloves, then add the allspice.
  3. Let the mixture set for half an hour to allow the spices to diffuse throughout the drink.
  4. Then place the liquid over a low flame and heat gradually.
  5. Simmer for an hour, then allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Serve by pouring through a strainer, then top each cup with a bit of nutmeg.


For a variation with a little kick, add brandy or mead about 5 minutes before done simmering.

This is one of the Christmas drink recipes from around the world.

18 servings
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
1 hour, 10 minutes