Traditional Holiday Wassail Recipe

Traditional Holiday Wassail


Traditional Holiday Wassail Recipe
by Delaney Wofford

A lot of you have probably heard the Christmas carol about going wassailing, but the sad truth is, many people don’t even know what wassail is!

Wassail is a very fond memory of my childhood; very special to me. And it turns out, it has been special to generations through the ages; right back to when the ancient English words “waes hael” meant “your good health!”

There’s a reason for that, too; the spices, tastes, and smells are just so wholesome and warming and lovely. Traditionally it is made with hard cider, but you can also make a non-alcoholic version by using regular cider; it’s really up to you.

Another option is to splash a tad of brandy or wine into the adult’s cups individually, so kids can savor their shares without.

So let’s whip up a batch, shall we? Soon your house will be filled with the beautiful, golden scent of autumn and Christmas!


When they’re in season, we bring in truckloads of fresh apples, cider, cranberries, and oranges and deliver them to many pick up locations throughout the state of Tennessee and some of the surrounding states. Check our current order form to see what’s available now, or sign up to be notified when it’s time to order.


2 quarts apple cider
2 cups cranberry juice
5 oranges
1/4 cup rapadura whole cane sugar, or other natural sweetener (optional)
16 whole cloves
6 allspice berries
5 three-inch cinnamon sticks

Stove Top Directions

Squeeze the juice from four of your fresh oranges, and pour it into a large pot. Slice the fifth orange into 5 or 6 rounds, with the peel still intact if it’s organic.

Add the cider, cranberry juice, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and whatever sweetener you decided to use (if desired) to the pot.

Secure all the spices in a cheesecloth or muslin bag (I used a scrap of clean white thin fabric) before adding them to the juices; then bring it all to a simmer.

Now turn the heat down real low and mull the spices for an hour or more. Your house will smell heavenly during this stage.

When the hour is up, remove the spice bag and serve immediately, or you can transfer it to a crock-pot to keep warm on low heat for your guests.

Enjoy! A toast to you, and good health as well!

Wassail 1