Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wassail


For foodies, the holidays can be summed up in one word, Wassail. It is a greeting, a drink and a celebration all in one.

In Saxon times the word was hail was used to greet someone, it meant “be in good health”. In the twelfth century the salutation was drinc hail, drink good health. Later, the word became used for the drink the toast was offered, especially spiced ale or wine during Christmas.Wassailing continued into nineteenth century and other drinks, like eggnog, became popular.

Whether you toast with cider, muled wine or eggnog, the warmth of the holidays begins when family and friends gather around the hearth with glass in hand. Everyone not only dreams of sugar and spice, but drinks it. Joy comes to all.

Happy Holidays!

Most liquor stores carry some kind of bottled wassail around the holidays, which is great as a gift or a quick drink for a party. If you have the time, and want a sweet smelling home, try one of the following wassail recipes.



Wassail (quick and non-alcohol)
4 black tea bags
5 quarts water plus 2 cups
4 (46oz) cans of orange juice
2 (46oz) cans of apple juice
4 (46oz) cans of pineapple juice
Steep tea in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Pour tea into a large soup pot. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Serve warm.
Yuletide Wassail
6 apples, cored
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 bottles of ale
1 cup of red wine
Fill apple centers with equal amounts of brown sugar. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients and simmer. Pour wassail in a large punch bowl or cock pot along with the baked apples.
Traditional English Wassail
6 apples, cored
½ cup brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
10 all spice berries
1 bottle of Madeira wine
3 bottles of ale
6 eggs, separated
Fill apples with brown sugar and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Combine cinnamon sticks through ale in a large soup pot and let simmer. Separate eggs. Beat yolks until they are light yellow and creamy. Beat whites until soft peaks form. Gently combine beaten yolk and whites together. Add 1 to 2 cups of the wassail slowly to the eggs, this is tempering. Now, add the eggs to the wassail. Serve with the baked apples in a punch bowl or crock pot.

1 comment:

KritonnicBlitonnic said...

Whoa, my wassail is all different. Why so many different kinds?!! We'll see how they turn out. I'd like a wassail tasting of different traditions in the future.
-K