Pull up close by the fire my friends,
I’ll pour ye a cup o’ cider!
We’ll talk and we’ll laugh, we’ll toast, my friends,
Wassail – Waes Hael – Be Well, Good Health!
And Blessings to the Trees!
Wassail! Lift ye cup o’ cider!
Wassail , from Old English waes hael, is a beverage made of fruit juices, most commonly apple juice or cider, and spices, slowly heated and served warm. The Old English waes hael means “be healthy”. The ancient tradition of “wassailing” included singing, toasting, and drinking the beverage – to the health of the villagers and to the health of the apple trees, blessing the trees in the hopes of bountiful harvests to come. I like the idea of acknowledging and showing appreciation for the bounty that Gaia provides! For without that bounty, where would we be?
- 48 ounces apple juice
- 48 ounces cranberry juice
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- ¾ cup brown sugar
Place cloves in a mesh tea basket. Add apple and cranberry juice to a large saucepan. Dissolve brown sugar in the juices. Simmer until hot over low heat with cinnamon sticks and clove basket. If you need to keep the wassail warm for an extended perior of time, transfer to pre-warmed slow cooker, low setting.
Serve in glass mugs and garnish with a fresh cinnamon stick & orange wheel.
Wassail can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks and cloves prior to storing in refrigerator.
P.S. The house will smell like heaven! This is a great beverage to serve for a holiday open house – your guests will be greeted with the delicious yuletide aroma upon arrival!