"After everyone is served cups of steaming, spiced cider, we all give the wassail toast," Patricia Atkins, Palmer Lake, Colorado, says of the ancient beverage. "Be whole. Good health to you."
Recommended: Christmas Drinks
VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 3 medium McIntosh or Rome apples
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 gallons apple cider or juice, divided
- 2 medium navel oranges, halved and sliced
- 2 medium lemons, halved and sliced
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches), halved
- Core apples and cut in half. Place cut side down in an 8-in. square baking dish. Pour water around apples. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
- Cool slightly; scoop out pulp and place in a blender. Discard apple peel. Add 1/2 cup cider to the blender; cover and process until smooth.
- In a Dutch oven, combine the oranges, lemons, sugar, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, pulp mixture and remaining cider. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Discard orange and lemon slices and cinnamon stick if desired. Yield: about 2 gallons.
Originally published as Christmas Wassail in Country Woman December/January 2008, p22