So, hot cider is not what wassail was originally, but it's the version we know today. My mom made it every winter for every holiday event we ever attended, when caroling, or whenever she wanted to evoke a holiday mood. It was her thing. Here's my version of her recipe:
1 whole cardamom pod
½ teaspoon whole cloves
1 stick mexican cinnamon
4 thin slices fresh ginger
juice of an orange (or 2) off one of the many local trees heavy with fruit
1 quart fresh apple cider or juice (Smit Orchards is the best I've found)
Lightly crush whole spices. Gently simmer all ingredients for about 20 minutes (longer for a spicier cider) in a pot on the stove or a crockpot. Serve piping hot and while a-wassailing!
Makes about 4½ cups
Use other citrus instead of an orange
Add cherry or pear juice
And other spices, such as star anise
In Food and Wine!
1 day ago