Here we come a-Wassailing. But what does this even mean?
An ancient English custom, part of the feasts and revelry of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, which have been revived in Colonial Williamsburg. The master of the English household drank to the health of those present with a bowl of spiced ale, and each in turn after him passed the bowl along and repeated the Saxon phrase “Wass hael,” which means “be whole” or “be well.”
Traditional Wassail Recipe
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 3 lemon slices
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 2 cups orange juice
- 6 cups dry red wine
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup dry sherry
- 2 lemons, sliced
- Boil the sugar, cinnamon sticks, and 3 lemon slices in ½ cup of water for 5 minutes and strain. Discard the cinnamon sticks and lemon slices.
- Heat but do not boil the remaining ingredients. Combine with the syrup, garnish with the lemon slices, and serve hot. (20 servings)
The Williamsburg Cookbook (Story Source: https://www.history.org/foundation/journal/holiday06/WassailRecipe.cfm)