Wassailing is a old English tradition of when the peasants would go to show their appreciation for their vassal lords, perform some small song or skit for them, and receive blessings and often a small token gift. This, as the tradition aged, became more generalized, and groups would travel to neighbors and family and sing in groups, and gather around bonfires and celebrate the season. The term Wassail comes from the Old English “Waes Nael” or “Good Health”.
Wassail the drink probably has little to do with traveling carolers, save that it is easy to make in large batches, and is quite pleasant to sip on a cold winter night.
Makes: about 6
- Rind of one orange
- Rind of one lemon
- a dozen whole cloves
- 5 sticks cinnamon
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or dark rum
- 2 pinches nutmeg
- Put rinds, cloves, and cinnamon in a sauce pan with wine.
- Heat on low. DO NOT BOIL.
- When warm, add nutmeg and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolved.